Swear your relationship is super solid even though you always seem to "have a headache" at bedtime? Welp, sorry to be the bearer of bad news, but as it turns out, you're lying to yourself. New research says that having more sex makes for a better relationship.
The study, which was published in the journal Psychological Science, had 216 newlyweds complete surveys on how satisfied they were with their relationships. They were asked to weigh in on different qualities of their marriages, like their overall feelings of satisfaction with their partners and their relationships. Oh! And they were asked how often they have sex.
Then, study participants took a computer test that asked them to press a button to indicate whether the words they saw on the screen were positive or negative. But, being tricky scientists, each person also saw a photo of his or her partner for 300 milliseconds before the word appeared.
Researchers say that the speed of the participants' responses indicated how strongly they associated their partners with the words that appeared. Those who responded more slowly to negative words than positive words had more positive feelings about their S.O.
So, here’s what all of the data collected determined: Newlyweds who have a lot of sex may claim they’re not any more satisfied with their relationships than those who get it on less often, but their automatic behavioral responses, gauged by that weird computer trick, found that they have a more positive spontaneous, gut-level reaction to their partners.
As a result, researchers concluded that having sex more often makes for better relationships.
While the findings are interesting, it’s worth pointing out that there’s a limit to this. There’s no doubt that regular sex is important, but you can have too much of a good thing. (We’re guessing that chafing and fatigue aren’t going to do wonders for your relationship in the long haul.) Plus, researchers even admitted that this may not be applicable for all couples, since they only studied newlyweds.
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Bottom line: Do what works for you. If you’re happy with the amount of sex you’re having, keep doing it. Literally. If not, try to ramp up the frequency and see where it gets you. You might wind up with more warm-fuzzy feelings about your relationship—without even realizing it.