Revealed: These Are The Secrets Of Super Happy Couples
By Sheila Monaghan and Caitlin Chang
A little quirky, but scientifically proven – these tried-and-tested tips from blissfully happy couples will add a double dose of joy to your relationship.
Secret 1: Pretend You’ve Just Met
Whether you’ve been together for six months or six years, spend some time each day acting as if you just started dating. Ask him what he thought of that True Detective episode, or share what you’d do if you won the lottery. “Over time, couples stop asking those exploratory, get-to-know you questions because they think they already understand each other,” says Terri Orbuch, author of Five Simple Steps To Take Your Marriage From Good To Great. But because we all continue to change and develop, little daily check-ins like this are what keep the connection growing, according to Orbuch’s research of 373 pairs. Chat about something besides the daily grind – at least for a bit.
Secret 2: Control The Boozing
Any relationship will be shaken and stirred by too much alcohol, but research suggests that young adults who drink heavily (meaning four or more drinks on one occasion for women; five or more for men) are less likely to wed in the first place and may be at a greater risk for early separation if they do. Boozers could have commitment issues to begin with, and once they couple up their bonds may be unstable. “Alcohol can fuel aggression and conflict – you’re more likely to argue when you’ve been drinking and a positive outcome is less probable,” says Joburg-based sexologist Catriona Boffard. So keep the drinking in check.
Secret 3: Don’t Win An Oscar
That is, unless you’d like to thank the academy for ruining your relationship. A best actress winner is 63 percent more likely to have her marriage end before her category mates do, say researchers in the US and Canada. (And it’s definitely not an honour to be nominated either: 60 percent of all nominees, male or female, experience at least one divorce after getting a nod.) While the break-up rate might seem like it’s just celebrity hogwash, the findings may speak to an underlying social norm: sudden one-sided success can put strain on a romantic partnership. “The increased rate of divorce may be due to a husband’s discomfort with his wife’s success,” says study author Colleen Stuart. “On the other hand, the wife may grow dissatisfied with her current marital arrangement because she now has the confidence and opportunity to move away from a bad relationship.” Try to remain a power couple: encourage and celebrate each other’s successes, big and small.
Secret 4: Tweet Responsibly
Avid tweeters have shorter relationships – 10 percent shorter, on average – than those who don’t microblog, according to a survey of more than 800 000 people from US dating website OkCupid. com. “Having your eyes glued to a screen isn’t conducive to romance,” says Boffard. Be sure your tendency towards technology (tweets, SMSes) doesn’t take up time better spent engaging in heart-to-hearts
with your guy.
Secret 5: Hold A Grudge (As Long As He Doesn’t)
Provided your partner is able to bounce back from spats, you’ll experience greater satisfaction, even if you tend to stay irritated, according to research published in Psychological Science. The mark of a good recovery: you don’t allow conflicts about one issue – say, money – to spill over into other areas of your relationship, such as how you help each other after a tough day, says study author Dr Jessica Salvatore. A yang to your yin yields harmony, so they say…
Secret 6: Burn Bras (Together)
Forget flowers – feminism is the new romance, say US experts. Women whose male partner is a feminist report better relationship quality, while men with feminist partners experience more sexual satisfaction and relationship stability. “A male feminist partner may increase a woman’s ability to realise her own goals and career ambitions,” says study author Dr Laurie Rudman. “And they’re probably not threatened by their partner’s strivings.” Plus, these women may be more likely to initiate sex, and no guy is going to complain about that.
Secret 7: Be The Beauty To His Beast
Coupling up with an average Frik (with a beer boep) may be the key to long-term love. According to a study in the Journal of Family Psychology, when men were married to more attractive women, they seemed more likely to step up to the plate, says study author Dr Benjamin Karney. “But when husbands were better looking, they didn’t seem as engaged in helping their wives achieve their goals.” (Size matters too: when women had a lower BMI than their mate, both partners tended to be more satisfied, according to research.) The real secret to success? Support. Whether you’re motivated by a gorgeous face or some other quality, couples are more likely to enjoy long-term happiness when they’re invested in each other’s welfare.
Looking for more relationship tips? This couple had sex every day for a month…