Research has led some couples astray. In plenty of studies, couples who are happier also have more sex. Knowing that finding, it would make sense that having more sex should lead to increased feelings of happiness. But it turns out that having sex specifically to improve feelings of well being in a relationship more often back fires. Instead unhappy couples were left feeling tired and less interested in sex.
The truth is, happy people have more sex, and if you want to know how to make your relationship happier, there are many factors, unrelated to the bedroom, that can help. To name a few:
• A firm work/life boundary (cell phones off at home)
• Regular exercise (love those endorphins)
• Less isolation (more friends and family at the table)
But are there things that science tells us couple can clearly do more of to increase relationship satisfaction? Turns out there are two big ones: Frequent kissing and hugs of long duration. Surprisingly, frequency of kissing is linked to better relationships even more than frequency of sex. And, long bear hugs, the kind where bodies melt into each other, seem to help us release a dopamine in the brain.
So, if you’re relationship is in the doldrums, forget about high-pressured sex. Instead, turn off technology, and snuggle together for a cozy hug.
WANT TO LEARN MORE ABOUT THE SCIENCE OF LOVE? Take my online workshop:
The Psychology of Human Mating