Having This in Common Makes You "More Sexually Satisfied" With a Partner, New Study Says
Research shows sharing one thing can help both members of a couple feel more fulfilled.
No matter how attracted you may be to someone, no couple agrees on every little thing or shares all of the same interests. But as people grow together, they tend to learn more about their significant other in ways that can help them feel more fulfilled by the relationship. And while it may be fundamentally important to see eye to eye on issues like finances or family planning, research now shows that having one thing in common with your partner makes you "more sexually satisfied." Read on to see what helps couples click on the most intimate level.
READ THIS NEXT: 90 Percent of People Are Lying to Their Partner About This, New Study Says.
Each person has their own way of communicating with their significant other.
In the intimacy of a relationship, the way two people convey their feelings toward one another can often go much deeper than just words. Sometimes, it's showering your loved one with plenty of hugs and kisses when they come home at the end of the day. For others, it can be cuddling on the couch with coffee while talking.
These displays of affection between two partners are known as love languages. Developed by marriage counselor Gary Chapman, PhD, the system establishes five different styles that include acts of service, receiving gifts, quality time, words of affirmation, and physical touch. The philosophy posits that by learning and identifying your own and others' love languages, you can help strengthen your relationship.
Sharing this can make you "more sexually satisfied."
Naturally, it can often be the case that one person tends to show affection differently than they like to receive it. But according to new research, it pays to be on the same page as your significant other when it comes to romantic gestures.
In a study published in the journal PLoS One in June, a team of researchers rounded up 100 sexually active heterosexual couples who had been together for at least six months ranging in age from 17 to 58. Each participant then completed surveys to collect data on demographics, as well as determine their love languages, gauge how satisfied they were in their relationship, establish levels of sexual satisfaction, and understand each person's aptitude for empathy, PsyPost reports.
Analysis of responses then allowed researchers to identify different degrees of mismatches between couples. Results showed that partners who shared love languages in both how they express and like to receive affection reported higher levels of sexual satisfaction and happiness in their relationship.
For more relationship advice delivered straight to your inbox, sign up for our daily newsletter.
It's not always easy to match your partner's love language.
The researchers were also able to pull more findings from the data. For example, since a mismatch in love language between partners was also associated with lower satisfaction both for giving and receiving affection, the team concluded that being able to fulfill a partner's needs also helped satisfy one's own needs.
However, the team also had one of their initial hypotheses disproven. Data also showed that participants who showed high levels of empathy weren't always guaranteed to be able to speak their partner's love language, with only a few types affecting some males' perception of their relationship.
The team ultimately concluded that the philosophy could be helpful in marriage counseling.
While their findings provided plenty of insight, the team still pointed out some of the limitations of their study. Most notably, data was self-reported by participants, making it difficult to truly gauge relationship health in an unbiased way. But ultimately, the team concluded that their findings had more significant implications, including that some sexual dissatisfaction among couples could be related to emotional and romantic difficulties rather than just physical ones.
The team said the findings supported the notion that understanding and utilizing love languages could be a viable tool in marriage counseling. They also suggested that any further studies look further into whether couples are destined for success because of finding a similar match or if another element of the relationship drives happiness.
"Our study provides novel evidence in support of Chapman's notion that speaking one's partner's love language leads to higher quality relationships and creates a positive emotional climate within the couple," the researchers wrote in conclusion. "In particular, the findings supported our major hypothesis that individuals whose partners express love in the way they prefer to receive it experience elevated relationship and sexual satisfaction."