We all want reasons for the things we do and don't do.
When it comes to love, however, what we do is seldom reasonable.
Here are some good reasons to be in a relationship and ways to keep yours on track:
1. Remember that being in a relationship is good for you. Statistics show that married people live longer than their unmarried counterparts. They also have higher happiness levels. There is no crime in being single - it may be your destiny - but marriage does seem to make sense from a health standpoint.
2. Those who continue to create more love in their lives also create more opportunity, money and fun. When you have someone by your side who is striving for the same goals, they are attained much more easily.
3. Relationships can help make us better people. Often we have the energy to do things for others that we wouldn't do for ourselves. Love is powerful in that way. If your partner brings out the best in you, he or she is a keeper.
4. You can get more done when you have a partner. Sometimes it's a matter of motivation. Other times it's just nice to have company. Whatever the reason, four hands can get more done than two. Putting your heads and hearts together helps as well.
5. Turning things around can be much easier than you think. Usually we are just being stubborn or resentful. Dropping your attitude and appreciating that your other half has been putting up with your peccadilloes can help make you more understanding.
6. Do nice things for no good reason, and be appreciative when that favour is returned. Life doesn't give us many free lunches. Doing something nice for your mate, "just because", makes life sweeter for both of you.
7. Most people have more fun playing with others. Doing things by yourself can be very fulfilling for some, but many people like the idea of enjoying life with a partner.
8. Having someone who knows you deeply is validating. This is the gift of knowing that the wonderful things you do are not going unnoticed, and it gives you more reason to do them.
9. Romance creates warmth, hope, and happiness. The more you have, the more you will enjoy your life. It sounds simple because it is.
10. Having a hand to hold as you go through life makes the difficulties we all experience easier to deal with. When things go awry, knowing that your mate has your back will allow you to go through whatever you have to and come out the other side a more positive person.
I'm sure there are a number of people who could write an opposing column. I just believe in the power of relationships and would rather be in one that I'm working on (which should never stop) than have no one to improve with.
A good relationship makes both of you better, and besides, it's more fun when you have someone sharing the ride.
* Dr Barton Goldsmith is a psychotherapist and author in Westlake Village, California.