John M. Becker

Same-Sex Couples Happier Than Straight Couples: Study

Filed By John M. Becker | January 15, 2014 10:00 AM | comments

Filed in: Living
Tags: opposite-sex relationships, same-sex relationships, scientific study, study, successful relationships, United Kingdom

Gay couple in bedA major new study by the U.K.'s Open University and funded by the Economic and Science Research Council found that same-sex couples are likely to be happier in their relationships than straight couples.

The report states:

"LGBQ participants (lesbian, gay, bisexual and queer) are more generally positive about and happier with the quality of their relationship and the relationship which they have with their partner." By contrast, "Heterosexual parents are the group least likely to be there for each other, to make 'couple time', to pursue shared interests, to say 'I love you' and to talk openly to one another."

The goal of the study, which was published Tuesday, was to discover modern couples' secrets to long-term relationship success. Researchers studied 5,000 people and followed up with 50 participants for in-depth interviews.

Interestingly, the study found that while same-sex couples are likelier to be more positive about their relationships, they still experience challenges when it comes to public displays of affection: "Public/private boundaries of 'couple display' remain fraught. Many LGBQ couples, especially the younger ones, say they would not hold hands in public for fear of reprisal."

Couples without children reported being happier than those with kids, and while mothers were the group least likely to be satisfied with their partners overall, they were also "significantly happier with life than any other group." Fathers were the group most likely to complain about the level of sexual intimacy in their relationship.

So what's the secret to a happy, successful, mutually fulfilling modern relationship? Dr. Jacqui Gabb, a co-author of the study, told The Independent, "Grand romantic gestures, although appreciated, don't nurture a relationship as much as bringing your partner a cup of tea in bed or watching TV together."

Study participants said that saying thank you and noticing achievements, thoughtful gifts, open and ongoing communication, physical affection such as cuddling and foot massages, and sharing in household chores and childcare were all ways their partners made them feel valued and appreciated.

What are your thoughts about this study? Do you think same-sex relationships are happier overall than opposite-sex relationships? If so, why? And what's your secret to relationship success?

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