you, it seems like all of your happily paired-up friends are on cloud
nine, right? The Joneses are expecting twins; the Robertsons are sending
their oldest off to college; and the Smiths are giddily announcing on
Facebook that they’re taking an ahhh-mazing vacation to Hawaii next
you and your partner suffer in silence. The two of you have settled
into a comforting (if not admittedly boring) routine in your life
together. And while the flames of passion haven’t fizzled out
completely, they’ve diminished to a dull burn.
haunted with the question that plagues so many other couples: Are you
as happy as everyone else? And, perhaps an even scarier question: What
does it mean if you’re not?
dig into the most compelling studies out there to answer the question
you’re afraid to ask: How do “we” stack up against other happy couples?
results are surprising, but will hopefully help you put your
relationship into perspective. It turns out, happiness is relative and
“happy couples” aren’t always as they seem:
1. People who cheat have more fulfilling relationships
hate to break it to you, but keeping your partner happy at home does
NOT make your relationship affair-proof. In fact, most self-admitted
cheaters surprisingly described themselves as “happy” in their
relationships: According to a study by Rutgers University, 56 per cent
of married men who had affairs said they were happy in their marriages.
2. Couples in healthy relationships fight often
couples average one argument a week. A study out of Florida State
University found that couples who made a habit of having “angry but
honest” conversations were happier in the long run.
that doesn’t mean you should rant like a sailor: Out of 100,000 people
surveyed for “The Normal Bar,” 90 per cent of the happiest individuals
have never cursed at their partners. So fight nice!
3. Couples without children are happier in their relationships
kids? No problem. As a childless couple, you’re probably much happier
for it. While parents feel stressed out and perpetually sleep-deprived, a
study by the Open University in England found that childless couples
are loving life AND their romantic relationships far more.
claim it’s because childless couples put more time into working on
their relationships than parenting couples. (Imagine a romantic getaway
without three kids in tow? Sounds like happiness to me.)
4. Having sex too early hurts chances of staying together
say that the happiest couples are the most sexually active. The media
constantly promotes “research” that endorses the benefits of getting it
on with your partner, but what they never clarify is that this doesn’t
mean you should sleep together right away.
from Cornell University studied nearly 600 married and co-habitating
couples in order to investigate the connection between the couples’
first sexual encounters and their later perceptions of relationship
quality. The results? Waiting at least a month to have sex at the
beginning of the relationship helped their chances of being happy later
down the line.
5. Couples who make their relationship “Facebook official” are more likely to break up
all those couples you know who share an obnoxious stream of couple
selfies, date night check-ins, and sappy social media status updates, be
warned: There’s something to be said for not making everything between
the two of you “Facebook official.”
to a report which studied 1.3 million Facebook users, staying in a
relationship depends on “social dispersion.” In other words, couples in a
mutual circle of friends were more likely to break up. In another
twist, four out of five couples actually point the finger at Facebook
for their breakup. (And what’s more awkward than when your breakup goes