People share the best thing about their relationship

Research suggests the secrets to a long term relationship

Discovering the secret to an eternally happy relationship is about as likely as finding the Holy Grail, but after carrying out an in-depth study of over 5,000 people in long term relationships, Dr Meg John Barker and Professor Jacqui Gabb might be a step closer to uncovering the secrets of what makes a relationship last.

In a series of articles for the Daily Mail, Barker and Gabb will be revealing some of the surprising ingredients needed to make a relationship last. In this case, they asked respondents to answer the question:

What do you like best about your relationship?

The returned answers gave some unforeseen insights into long term relationships and what people value the most within them.

Let’s [not] get physical

In a time when we’re dropping our prudery and the sex revolution is taking big strides forward, it is surprising that sex didn’t even make it into the top 10. Instead, partners valued laughter and trust far higher than physical pleasure.

The top 10 answers given in the study are as follows:

  1. Laughing together
  2. Sharing values and interests
  3. Being best friends
  4. Being cared for and feeling supported
  5. Feeling safe and secure
  6. Being happy
  7. Trust
  8. Sharing a close relationship
  9. Talking and listening
  10. Being in love and/or being loved

Barker and Gabb cited the 2013 National Survey of Sexual Attitudes, which discovered that since the early Nineties the number of times people were having sex per month had decreased from five to three. Although having it less, two-thirds admitted they were still satisfied with their sex lives and the survey found that having less sex wasn’t linked to being unhappy within relationship.

Clearly, we’re choosing quality over quantity which is no bad thing!

What do you think?

What do you like best in your relationship and do you agree with the top 10 answers? Would you value these aspects over physical love, or can one not exist without the other?

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