5 Dark Secrets Of So-Called ‘Happy’ Couples

Looking around you, it seems like all of your happily paired-up friends are on cloud nine, right? The Joneses are expecting twins. The Robertsons are sending their oldest off to college. And the Smiths are giddily announcing on Facebook that they're taking an ahhh-mazing vacation to Hawaii next month.

Meanwhile, you and your partner suffer in silence. The two of you have settled into a comforting (if not admittedly boring) routine in your life together. And while the flames of passion haven't fizzled out completely, they've diminished to a dull burn. You're haunted with the question that plagues so many other couples: Are you as happy as everyone else? And, perhaps an even scarier question, What does it mean if you're not?

Well, let's dig into the most compelling studies out there to answer the question you're afraid to ask: How do "we" stack up against other happy couples? The results are surprising and will hopefully help you put your relationship in perspective. It turns out, happiness is relative and "happy couples" are not always as they seem.

Cheaters Are Happy In Their Relationships (Really)

We hate to break it to you, but keeping your partner happy at home does NOT make your relationship affair-proof. In fact, most self-admitted cheaters surprisingly described themselves as "happy" in their relationships. According to a study by Rutgers University, 56% of married men who had affairs said they were happy in their marriages, nonetheless.

Happy Couples Fight ... Regularly

Or more specifically, healthy couples average one argument a week. A study out of Florida State University found that couples who made a habit of having "angry but honest" conversations were happier in the long run. (Still, that doesn't mean you should rant like a sailor. Out of 100,000 people surveyed for The Normal Bar, 90% of the happiest individuals have never cursed at their partners.) So, fight nice!

Childless Couples Are Happier

No kids? No problem. As a childless couple, you're probably much happier for it! While parents feel stressed out and perpetually sleep-deprived, a study by the Open University in England found that childless couples are loving life AND their romantic relationships far more. They claim it's because childless couples put more time into working on their relationships than parenting couples. Imagine a romantic getaway without three kids in tow? (Sounds like happiness to me.)

Having A Lot Of Sex Does Not (Always) Make You Happier

They say that the happiest couples are the most sexually active. The media constantly promotes "research" that endorses the benefits of gettin' it on with your partner ... but what they never clarify is that this doesn't mean you should sleep together right away.

In 2012, researchers from Cornell University studied nearly 600 married and cohabitating couples in order to investigate the connection between when these couples first had sex to their later perceptions of relationship quality. The results? Waiting at least a month to have sex at the beginning of the relationship helped their chances of being happy later down the line. Therefore, having sex too early can actually hurt your chances at happiness.

"So In Love" On Facebook  ... Is A Lie

For all of those couples you know who share an obnoxious stream of couple-selfies, date night check-ins and sappy social media status updates: be warned. Actually, there's something to be said for NOT making everything between the two of you "Facebook official." According to a report of 1.3 million Facebook users, relationship staying power depends on "social dispersion." In other words, couples in a mutual circle of friends were more likely to break up. In another twist, four out of five couples actually point the finger at Facebook for their breakup! (And what's more awkward than when your breakup goes "Facebook official?")

By Alexandra Churchill | Your Tango


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Love Magazine: 5 Dark Secrets Of So-Called ‘Happy’ Couples
5 Dark Secrets Of So-Called ‘Happy’ Couples
Love Magazine
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