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.

From Reader's Digest Magazine
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    Roy Pinney/Three Lions/Getty Images

    You don't have to share everything.

    Over one quarter of the happiest couples say they keep secrets from each other.

    George Marks/Retrofile/Getty Images

    Fighting can help work things out.

    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.

    George Marks/Retrofile/Getty Images

    Find activities and passions you both enjoy.

    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.

    Orlando/Three Lions/Getty Images

    Respect your marriage bed.

    Only one percent of the happiest partners say they’ve ever slept on the sofa.

    Evans/Three Lions/Getty Images

    Talk to each other. Often.

    Forty percent of the happiest couples say that communication—more than friendship, affection, or even sex—is the most satisfying part of the relationship.

    Baron/Getty Images

    Touching is key.

     74% of the happiest pairs give or receive back rubs.

    Richards/Fox Photos/Getty Images

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

    Only 20 percent of the happiest partners say they’ve lost their attraction to their mates.

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    Stay intimate.

    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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    Your Comments

    • gypsy girl

      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.

    • Syed Zahoori


    • RainbowGurl

      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.)

    • s

      you shouldnt be part of the study if you lost attraction to your partner