People agree that a happy romantic relationship is one that has a sexual component, but previous research hasn’t been clear about the exact link between happiness and sex. Now, a new study has been revealed suggesting that couples who have sex once a week are happiest.
Researchers at the University of Toronto-Mississauga based their three studies on questionnaires filled out by 30,000 Americans over 30 years, The Telegraph reports. The lead researcher, Amy Muise, told The Telegraph that the general message is to “maintain a sexual connection with a romantic partner.” She added that “it is also important to have realistic expectations for one’s sex life, given that many couples are busy with work and family responsibilities.”
The first study examined responses from 11,285 men and 14,225 women who took the General Social Survey between 1989 and 2012. Their responses demonstrated that happiness increased the more couples had sex.
However, the study says that just because people have sex on an extremely frequent basis doesn’t mean they are happier. “Our research suggests that having more frequent sex in relationships is associated with greater happiness, but this is only true up to once a week, having sex more frequently is no longer associated with greater well-being,” Muise said. She added that it’s “not necessary, on average, for couples to aim to engage in sex as frequently as possible.”
The second study was based on responses from 197 women and 138 men. And it reinforced the theory that money doesn’t equal happiness. The difference in happiness between people having sex less than once per month compared to those having sex once a week was greater than the difference in happiness between people making $25,000 and $75,000 per year.
The third study looked at data collected three times over a 14-year period from 2,400 married couples. It did not show a strong connection between life satisfaction and sex, but couples were happier when they had sex once a week, UPI reports.
Muise reported that levels of happiness in relation to sex are specific to every person. “People often think that more money and more sex equal more happiness, but this is only true up to a point,”Muise said. “It’s important to maintain an intimate connection with your partner without putting too much pressure on engaging in sex as frequently as possible.”
Researchers published the study in the journal Society for Personality and Psychology.