Sex & Relationships

REVEALED: Does regular sex REALLY make for a happier relationship?

Scientists believe they’ve have found the answer to the age-old question

So entrenched is the idea that the more active your sex life the better your love life, that we automatically assumed that those constantly at it must be happy as hell in their relationship.

And, you know, that the rest of us are doomed.

But various new studies have aimed to dispel this myth, looking into the correlation between sex and relationship satisfaction. Recently, one study explained getting down and dirty once a week is enough to keep up our spirits, single or coupled up, and another study confirmed that this magic number made for the happiest couples.

The latest sex study to weigh in on the discussion is ‘Capturing the Interpersonal Implications of Evolved Preferences? Frequency of Sex Shapes Automatic, but Not Explicit, Partner Evaluations’ published in the Psychological Science journal.

The findings reveal that while highly active and less frequent newlyweds tend to report equal relationship satisfaction, the behavioural responses of the regular love makers tells a different story.

Which basically means that while their auto-response about being loved up barely differs, their reaction to more off-beat, unexpected questions and tasks reveal different feelings towards their partners.

Lead author of the study, psychological scientist Lindsey L. Hicks, explains:

“We found that the frequency with which couples have sex has no influence on whether or not they report being happy with their relationship, but their sexual frequency does influence their more spontaneous, automatic, gut-level feelings about their partners.

"This is important in light of research from my colleagues demonstrating that these automatic attitudes ultimately predict whether couples end up becoming dissatisfied with their relationship."

So in order to suss out the REAL way sex life impacts newlyweds, the researchers conducted research on 216 couples, looking at both their survey responses, and at their more instinctual responses.

Although different from the answers on the survey, couples’ automatic, behavioural responses DID point to more frequent intercourse correlating with a happier relationship.

These couples had stronger reactions to behavioural tasks and associated their partner with more positive attributes.

And the same rang true for men and women.

Hicks says: "We're capturing different types of evaluations when we measure explicit and automatic evaluations.

“Deep down, some people feel unhappy with their partner but they don't readily admit it to us, or perhaps even themselves."

“These studies illustrate that some of our experiences, which can be either positive or negative, affect our relationship evaluations whether we know it or not."

What do you make of this study?

Let us know if you agree with the findings on our Facebook or Twitter (@CloserOnline) page.

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