10 scientifically proven tips for happier relationships
Tinder is making it harder for us to have sex, and the internet is making it harder to maintain our relationships.
While one study has found that online dating may be causing Millenials to have less sex, we need not fear. Relationship help is at hand, and the kind backed by science. These ten tips will help you stop technology from ruining your relationship, and give you advice on how to better communicate with your significant other.
1. Stop texting
We’ve all been there. The blunt reply that sends you into a sweaty anxiety spiral for the rest of your day, that turns out to have been nothing at all. While SMS are good for a nice pick me up message or spontaneous compliment, they are a terrible means of communication. Many potential arguments can be diffused with body language. Avoid catastrophe and misunderstanding one another by reserving all your fights for face to face interactions. The aftermath can also lead to resentment, if you apologise by text rather than in person. Research by Brigham Young University found that women who settle a feud via text, also reported having poorer relationships.
2. Stop tweeting
A study by doctoral student Russell Clayton found that Twitter use leads to relationship conflict such as arguments and jealousy, which in turn predicted infidelity and the end of the relationship. Clayton’s study of Twitter followed similar research and findings regarding Facebook.
3. The 5:1 ratio
According to Dr John Gottman, for every single criticism you say to your partner, you need to say five nice things about them just to balance it out. Extremely unfair, seeing as the way they never put cutlery away is really annoying for you, but our brains remember the bad over the good. Couples who feel they have more positive interactions than negative ones are more likely to have happy relationships, and it takes five times more compliments to get close to that feeling.
4. Sleep in the nude
According to a survey of 1,000 British people by Cotton USA, couples who go to bed naked are happier than those who sleep in pyjamas or nighties. 57 per cent of couples who slept naked expressed a general happiness with their life in general.
5. Don’t have kids
The Open University studied over 5,000 couples over two years, and found that the couples without children were the happiest. Sorry if you already have children, it’s too late for you.
6. Ditch the gritty box set drama and watch a Romcom
Watching romantic films and discussing them afterwards works similarly to couple’s counselling, and at more than half the price. The University of Rochester found that watching five films a month about relationships and discussing them after could reduce the rate of divorce after three years from 24 to 11 per cent.
7. Have similar spending habits
The University of Michigan’s Ross School of Business looked at over 1,000 married and unmarried couples and found that frugal spenders tended to be attracted to spendthrifts, but that in the long run, couples who are financial opposites had more conflicts and lower marital satisfaction. Find a partner who is a saver like you, or as profligate as you. That way you can count pennies together, or share the responsibility of credit default paperwork.
Every list of relationship tips is essentially a record on repeat telling couples to better communicate with one another. One study has quantified it, and found that happy couples spend more than 5 hours per week in each other’s company and talking about their lives.
9. Don’t work behind a bar
Working behind a bar, being a mathematician, or being a dancer, are the careers most likely to end in divorce. Surprisingly, optometry is ranked alongside podiatry, farming and nuclear engineering as the career paths least likely to end in divorce. Maybe it’s because as an optometrist, you can honestly say ‘I only have eyes for you.’
10. Have plenty of sex
There are lots of studies which suggest varying amounts of sex needed per month to ensure happiness. Some suggest 2-3 times per week, other’s a one-a-week-booster shot of sexy time. Beyond the staple of sexual intercourse, cuddling and regular physical contact also increase the chances of a happiness in a relationship.