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What makes a couple 'happy and normal'

Posted on: January 28, 2013 16:40:36

What makes a couple It is likely to be a question that all UK singles are longing to find out the answer to - just what defines a normal relationship?

When it comes to love, feelings and intimate relations, every person and every relationship can differ enormously, but one group of researchers have tried to define just what is 'normal' for couples.

Speaking to over 100,000 people across the world, scientists in the US have sought to find out what people are looking for in a partnership, what makes them happiest and what bothers them most.

Pepper Schwartz, a sociologist at the University of Washington in Seattle, looked at heterosexual and same-sex couples over the age of 18 to find out "which normal is correlated with happiness".

It is hoped that in turn, the findings, which will be released in a new book entitled The Normal Bar, can help other budding romantics to have a happier and more fulfilling love life.

Of all the respondents in the US, 62 per cent were found to be in the 'happiest' category of people, while 14 per cent admitted they were 'extremely happy' in their relationship.

It seems that keeping the spark going is vital when looking for a blissful partnership, with those most content with their life found to regularly hold hands, go on date nights and are relaxed when it comes to public displays of affection.

But when it comes to the intimate aspects of a relationship, the researchers found that sleeping in the nude together and kissing more could help improve sexual satisfaction and improve happiness.

David Buss, psychologist at the University of Texas-Austin, said: "People do want to know if they're having sex as much as everyone else. If they're not, they may feel deficient in some way or that something's wrong. But there are huge individual differences in sex drives and individual differences in sexual chemistry within relationships and all sorts of other things - job stress, kids - all sorts of things influence it."

So, just what makes a couple not only normal but happy? Well, according to the respondents in the survey, communication is the biggest factor, followed by friendship, affection, sex and parenting.

However, as the findings suggest, every individual and every relationship is unique, so it is down to you to find out what works and what doesn't in your love life…

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