When we think of the happiest couples, we think of the ones who can’t keep their hands off each other.
We're pretty much thinking of those couples who still treat each other like they’re newlyweds.
But according to new studies, more sex doesn’t necessarily lead to happier relationships.
Researchers from Carnegie Mellon University conducted a study in which they basically told people to have twice the amount of sex they normally have.
Those allowed into the study were couples between the ages of 35 and 65, and entered the study with an average of having sex at least once a month to no more than three times a week. Participants were now having 40% more sex than their normal.
The entire group was comprised of 128 participants, 70 of which were asked to have more sex. Each day they were surveyed about their general feelings, asked questions about the type of sex they were having, how much they liked it or didn’t like it, and whether they wanted more of it.
Turns out, they didn’t.
The couples who were asked to have more sex became less happy. Who’d have thought that would be the more/less ratio?
The researches confess that they thought they would find the exact opposite: more sex, more intimacy, happier relationship. George Lowenstein, professor of economics and psychology at CMU, had a theory that explains his false expectations.
His theory was that the situation they were studying (aka, older middle aged couples who have little to no sex who may also be unhappy) is an instance of hot-cold empathy gaps.
Simply put, this is a biased way of thinking in which can’t see outside of their current state.
Applied directly to this situation, it would mean that long-term couples who have lost sexual interest in their partners (that’s the cold part) can’t see how more sex (the hot part, obviously) could benefit their relationship.
Unfortunately the results of this study didn’t support Lowenstein’s theory.
One theory to why the study gave those results could be the very fact that researchers assigned their participants sex, making it more work than play. Which should never be the case...
The key to happiness, they now suggest, is quality of sex. Well, why didn’t we think of that sooner? If you’re having better sex, chances are you’re going to want it more, leading to increase of sex, which then leads to a happier relationship.
Other studies have shown that physical intimacy (yes, including sex, but not restricted to sex) like touching, kissing, and cuddling, lead to greater happiness in relationships.
SO, either up your game or try cuddling more. Intimacy comes in all shapes and touches.[via Men's Journal] [Feature Image Courtesy Pinterest]