8 Lessons in Love From the World’s Happiest Couples

With the help of a few sociologists (and Reader's Digest), author Chrisanna Northrup interviewed more than 80,000 people around the world to compile some quantitative data on love, marriage, sex, trust, and more. Here are the top lessons learned from the couples who ranked themselves happiest.

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You don't have to share everything.

You don't have to share everything. Roy Pinney/Three Lions/Getty Images
Over one quarter of the happiest couples say they keep secrets from each other.

Fighting can help work things out.

Fighting can help work things out.George Marks/Retrofile/Getty Images
Seventy-eight percent of the happiest couples argue occasionally. The lesson: Couples who never fight may be avoiding conversations they need to have to forge an intimate relationship.

Find activities and passions you both enjoy.

Find activities and passions you both enjoy.George Marks/Retrofile/Getty Images
Of the 45 percent of people who say they have a lot in common with their partners, 95 percent describe their relationships as extremely happy.

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Respect your marriage bed.

Respect your marriage bed.Orlando/Three Lions/Getty Images
Only one percent of the happiest partners say they’ve ever slept on the sofa.

Talk to each other. Often.

Talk to each other. Often.Evans/Three Lions/Getty Images
Forty percent of the happiest couples say that communication—more than friendship, affection, or even sex—is the most satisfying part of the relationship.

Touching is key.

Touching is key.Baron/Getty Images
 74% of the happiest pairs give or receive back rubs.

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Even with time, it's important to still find each other attractive.

Even with time, it's important to still find each other attractive.Richards/Fox Photos/Getty Images
Only 20 percent of the happiest partners say they’ve lost their attraction to their mates.

Stay intimate.

Stay intimate.Sasha/Getty Images
Sixty percent of extremely happy couples—even those who have been together more than two decades—have sex three or four times per week.

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4 thoughts on “8 Lessons in Love From the World’s Happiest Couples

  1. But remember, a correlation between two variables does not necessarily imply that one causes the other. . . This one in Particular:

    “Touching is key.
    74% of the happiest pairs give or receive back rubs.”

    RD implies that people who make physical affection high on their priority list will be on their way to a happy marriage. But really, it might be the other way around: HAPPILY MARRIED PEOPLE ARE JUST NATURALLY MORE PHYSICALLY AFFECTIONATE.

    I don’t think you can force affection. It just comes naturally if you’re doing everything else right.

  2. I think it’s okay to sleep on the sofa on rare occasions for reasons other than conflict with your partner. Like… if they’re really sick and you both agree that you can’t afford to get sick, or if they’re snoring like a buzz saw and you really need your sleep… but these exceptions should be rare. (Seek medical attention if the snoring continues to be an issue.)

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