Wondering what the secret sauce is that makes some relationshipsblissed-out for the long haul? Well, scientists and researchers have spent years studying happy couples to find out what exactly keeps them joined at the hip as opposed to heading for the nearest exit sign. While there’s no manual for what to do and what not to do, here are a few traits that these dynamic duos seem to have in common:
1. They Get Busy in the Bedroom
There are a lot of benefits to getting hot and heavy with your spouse, but one of the best is that frequent sack seshes are directly correlated with your happiness levels. An associate professor of sociology at theUniversity of Colorado Boulder found that couples who reported having sex at least two to three times a month were 33 percent more likely to report a higher level of happiness than those who rarely got down and dirty with their partner.
2. They’re Friends First
It could easily be said that the key to a successful relationship is to start with a strong, balanced bond. Researcher John Gottman found that couples who shared a deep, abiding friendship were also highly satisfied with their levels of sex, romance, and even passion.
3. They Don’t Have Kids
Nobody said having children is easy. But some experts will say that not having children can actually improve the quality of your relationship. Researchers from the Council on Contemporary Families found that childless couples were the happiest—whether they were married or not. That said, for couples who do have kids, working for companies with good parental leave policies is a major boon, according to the research.
4. They Sleep Better
Sleep helps us restore little bits of our sanity, but it’s also a driving force behind whether or not our relationships are on the road to endless happiness. A 2009 University of Arizona study found that women whoslept poorly had more problems in their relationships than those who got solid Zzz’s.
5. They Share Similar Drinking Habits
One of you may be a wine connoisseur, while the other one is a craft beer guru. Either way, researchers at Buffalo Research Institute found it’s not what you drink, but how much you drink that influences your relationship’s happiness level. Couples with mismatched drinking habits (think: one is a heavy drinker and the other is not), are more likely to break up compared to those who imbibe equally, researchers say.