A survey conducted for the Edinburgh International Science Festival found that intimacy between partners is mirrored by the distance that separates them during sleep. Not surprisingly, people who don’t touch at all during sleep are less happy in their relationships than those who maintain some type of contact while snoozing. Johanna, 37, and Gavin, 44, from Philadelphia don’t sleep spooning or all cuddled up because it’s “too hot and smothering,” but they do touch during the night. “Whether we’re back to back or sleeping in the same direction, there’s definitely a physical connection. And in the morning, Gavin is usually the first to wrap me up in a bear hug while we’re still lying down.” The study concluded 94% of couples who spent the night in contact with one another were happy with their relationship, compared to 68% of those that didn’t touch.
Single mom Kerry, 34, from Roseville, CA lives for date night with her boyfriend of nearly two years. “We have date nights on Wednesdays when my mom has a sleepover with my daughter,” Kerry says. “We go to dinner, come back to my place and change into something more comfortable.” And by that, she means sweats. The couple cracks open a bottle of wine and lays on opposite sides of the couch. “I rub his feet. I’m obsessed with his feet,” Kerry admits. “I sometimes draw faces with lotion on his toes.” She also likes to take pics of her fancy footwork with her phone to show him. Whatever works!
After analyzing data from a five-year study of 1,388 German couples, University of Alberta professor Matt Johnson found that a fair division of household responsibilities 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,” Johnson wrote in his report. (Alternatively, a study from April 2014 in the journal Sex Roles found that unevenly divided chores can negatively affect marital satisfaction.) So, the next time you cook dinner together, you may want to try an i’ll-wash-and-you-dry approach when it comes to cleaning up.
Pick and poke that is. Della, 24, from San Bernardino, California says her husband Jaun, 25, loves when she pops his pimples, admitting that this practice probably seems “gross” to most people. “We sit on the couch and he lays his head in my lap,” says Della who has been married to her husband for two years and together a total of nine. “No scrubs, lotions or massage,” she says. “He just loves me messing with his face.” And Della loves that Jaun falls asleep in her lap during this yucky, yet ever-so-pleasing facial.
Jennifer, 35, from Indianapolis, Indiana, used to think her boyfriend was childish for zoning into a video game after work, but then he challenged her to a game of tennis on Wii. “It was fun to jump around, smacking at an imaginary ball and the competitive nature of it made us make plans for rematches,” Jennifer says. Game on: Brigham Young University researchers concur, finding that 76% of couples reported that gaming was good for their marriages, and playing video games or apps online pointed to higher marital satisfaction because the participation was mutual.
When Kevin, 31, from NYC was surfing the web at work and came across a study that claimed couples who engage in S&M bedroom activities end up strengthening their relationship, he went home and tried spanking his girlfriend during sex that night. “She wasn’t expecting it, but it definitely turned her on,” he says. According to the Northern Illinois University study, people that received this frisky kind of stimulation get a boost in their levels of the stress hormone cortisol. “Since she enjoyed it, we continue to do it. She calls it our ‘dirty little secret.'”
“I’ll routinely have dance parties with our three-year-old twins to poop them out and get them ready for bedtime,” says Clara, 34, Deerfield Beach, Florida. “One night, my husband walked in and started dancing all goofy with us.” Clara says after the kids were asleep she suggested a sexier dance: a strip tease. “I performed for him and he promised to strip for me the next time.” Clara says he kept his promise—and it was “Magic Mike meets the Chicken dance.” That’s to say, it was more hilarious than sexy, but it “started a new tradition for us,” she says.
Lisa, 38, and Matt, 43, have been married for 13 years and have three young boys under the age of ten. So what’s their secret? The Detroit, Michigan couple credits cookies to their inside-jokey bond. “One morning, years and years ago, before we had kids, we didn’t have a lot of fresh groceries in the apartment to make breakfast. Instead of running out for bagels or ordering in, we ended up eating leftover dessert for breakfast,” Lisa says. Today, they still keep the tradition alive. “So whenever we have homemade cookies in the house, we make a point to enjoy them together for breakfast.” That’s not all—this cute couple also notes the memory cues them to sing a made-up song called, “Everybody knows that cookies are for breakfast.”
“I wear his tighty-whities,” says Heather, 29, from Brooklyn, NY. “It started with me wearing his T-shirts because I liked the way his cologne smelled.” Heather says she accidentally put on her boyfriend’s undies one sleepy morning when she was hunting for her own in the dryer. “I didn’t wear them to work, but they were surprisingly comfy. I started wearing them to bed and it ended up turning him on. But no—he doesn’t wear my clothes, if you’re wondering!”
Kelly, 34, from Fort Lee, NJ says her boyfriend made fun of her while she was watching an episode of the HBO show Girls. “He was basically calling the characters spoiled, entitled brats—which I get, but I kind of like escaping into their 20-something worlds,” says Kelly. “I made him settle in with me and watch the rest of the episode—and the plotline actually started an interesting conversation.”
This couple is on to something, according to a recent study by Ronald Rogge and a team of researchers who concluded that watching and discussing movies lowers the divorce rate. The study participants were sent home with a list of 47 movies with intimate relationships as a major plot focus and asked to watch one a week for the next month, followed by the same guided discussion for about 45 minutes. The results suggested that many couples already possess relationship skills; they just need reminders, or movies, to put them into practice. Seems easy, relaxing and fun!
Story originally posted on MSN.com. Picture by GETTY.