The one thing couples should do every day to stay happy
There’s tons of expert advice on ensuring your relationship lasts forever — happy couples make a point of following a few rules before going to bed, for example — but most of it is common sense, whether it’s keeping the lines of communication open at all times or, er, simply not treating each other badly in general.
Still, there’s science to back up certain must-dos, the most intriguing of which is something you can start including in your daily routine right now. The good news is it requires less effort than putting on sexy lingerie, and puts both partners on equal footing, regardless of gender.
Oh, and it’s also going to make both of you feel terrific no matter when or how you choose to do it, and could even improve your health in the long run.
Touching helps ease stress and pain in romantic partners
As David J. Linden, a professor of neuroscience and the author of Touch: The Science of Hand, Heart, and Mind, told Health that making physical contact with each other as often as possible is key. “Whether you’re touching or being touched, it’s pretty good for what ails you,” he advised.
As time drags on, life interjects to keep us apart, but touching is more important than we realize. As biological anthropologist Helen Fisher, Ph.D., explained, when we’re touched by our partners, it releases a surge of oxytocin, the “love hormone,” which creates feelings of deep attachment. Even something as simple as laying a hand on your partner is meaningful.
Likewise, as developmental psychologist Tiffany Field, Ph.D., notes, touching helps ease stress. “You want to keep yourself in a state of relaxation, and touch from someone who is close to you really helps in doing that,” she revealed. Touching can even lessen pain, with pain researcher Pavel Goldstein, Ph.D., confirming in a recent study women’s pain subsided when they were allowed to hold hands with their partners.
Touching each other daily keeps you connected and healthy
In general, according to experts, wanted touch is great for our health and well-being, as well as our relationships. As Field explained, “It’s very important that people remain in touch with each other to keep their stress levels down and their pain levels down — and keep their wellness up.” Research even suggests incorporating regular touch into your relationship is linked to higher satisfaction in both partners overall (via Science Direct).
As couples therapist Irina Firstein, L.C.S.W., told Women’s Health that incorporating more opportunities to touch each other into your daily routine will help keep you and your partner connected in the long run — even if it’s not necessarily a romantic gesture. “Many couples are too busy to touch or feel that if they do it will lead them to sex,” she explained. “And if they don’t have time to get physical, they don’t touch. This is a huge mistake. Touching is part of broad-based eroticism and does not have to be goal oriented, but rather a playful act between partners.”
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