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Friendships can have just as much of an impact on you as your romantic relationships — if not more. Maintaining close friendships with others striving for a healthy lifestyle helps encourage and reinforce behaviors like exercising in your own life. Real-life social relationships are healthy in other ways, too; loneliness is actually a growing health epidemic. One recent report from the health insurer Cigna pointed out that being lonely has the same effect on health as smoking 15 cigarettes a day. Conversely, putting time and effort into maintaining and nurturing close friendships has been linked to a longer, happier life.