Science can now explain your boyfriend's love of spooning. If a long-term relationship involves lots of kisses and cuddles, the man will be more satisfied, according to a new study. Researchers from The Kinsey Institute for Research in Sex, Gender, and Reproduction expected to find the opposite, that women needed physical signs of affection more than men. But their research discovered that women are more likely to stay in a relationship if they're sexually satisfied, while men cited hugs, kisses, and cuddles.
Looking at couples from all over the world in long-term relationships lasting one to 51 years, the study found several factors impact a relationship's success. Men who are healthy are more likely to report satisfaction with the relationship, and women become more satisfied later in the relationship. For women, happiness starts to decrease between year one and 15, picking up again at year 20 and 50 of the relationship, most likely after any child rearing.
As for cuddling and kissing, the researchers aren't sure if all men crave it or if men who stay in long-term relationships are the type of men predisposed to valuing such affection. In addition, women in lasting relationships may have increased sexual satisfaction over time because sexually unsatisfied women would end the relationship — therefore a study looking at long-term couples would only deal with sexually satisfied women. They plan to conduct more research to further explain.
Do these results surprise you as much as they surprised the researchers?