Alex O'Brien


Wed, 23 Dec, 2015

6 surprising habits that could improve your relationship

6 surprising habits that could improve your relationship

Forget candles, roses and date night; science suggests the real secret to a strong, long-lasting relationship is all in the detail.

Real couples told Woman’s Day what weird, science-backed habits that work for them. The suggestions might surprise you.

Wash the dishes together

A German study by the University of Alberta has found that households with a fair division of responsibilities and chores leads to a better sex life. "A division of household labor perceived to be fair ensures that partners feel respected while carrying out the tasks of daily life," says the study lead, Professor Matt Johnson.

Johanna and Gavin say they don’t sleep close to one another at night but they do touch. “Whether we're back to back or sleeping in the same direction, there's definitely a physical connection,” the couple told Woman’s Day

Sleep close

The Edinburgh International Science Festival has found that more intimate partners sleep closer to each other at night. People who are less happy with their relationship avoid touching during the night.

Play games

You might have given up playing board or video games in your youth, but a study by Brigham Young University suggests games are great for a marriage. 76 per cent of couples reported that gaming was good for their relationship and online games or apps related to a higher marital satisfaction.

Get hands-on

Research suggests that couples who maintain physical intimacy in small ways have a greater sense of connection to one another. Della and husband Juan say a ritual that keeps them close is touching while watching TV. Juan lies on the couch with his head on his wife’s lap while she strokes his hear. Small touches help couples feel intimate and in-synch.

Have fun in the bedroom

It’s easy to get into a routine once the lights go out, but research suggests those are open to experimental sex are happier. A study by the Northern Illinois University found that couples who took a cue from 50 Shades of Grey saw a spike in the hormone cortisol.

Make him watch movies you love

Kelly and Fort Lee told Woman’s Day they let each other choose a movie they enjoy, then discuss the flick afterwards. And research suggests they’re onto something. Participants were asked to watch a list of relationship-focused 47 movies and after each, discuss what they thought of the plot line for 45 minutes. The study suggests that discussing movies with your partner could lower the divorce rate. 

Related links:

The funniest things grandkids kids say

The many things grandparents sacrifice for their family

15 unlikely friendships that will melt your heart