. Around 732 men and women were enrolled in the study,
who took online surveys during a span of three years.
Various questions were
asked pertaining to different aspects of their relationship such as how
satisfied they were in their relationship, how intimate they felt with their
partner, how committed they are with their partners, etc.
The couples' intimacy
was assessed with the help of Other in Self Scale which takes into 'stock of
how much overlap couples show in areas such as shared identity, values,
resources, and personality traits.'
observed that about 57 percent of the volunteers felt too distant from their
partners, 5 percent of the respondents felt too close to each other and 37
percent were happy with their intimacy.
It was also noted that
the wider the gap between what an individual felt to be the best level of
closeness and the actual closeness of his/her relationship, the more
probability that he/she reports symptoms of depression and poor quality of
This was applicable
with almost all levels of intimacy. It simply did not matter whether the
volunteers wished more closeness or less; if the satisfaction level was low,
they experienced more negative impacts.
The couples who felt
'too close' or 'not quite close enough' had more chances of a break up.
Prof. David Frost, a
psychologist and Professor of Population and Family Health at the Mailman
School, who was also an authors of the study mentioned, "It's best not to make
too many assumptions about what constitutes a healthy relationship. Rather, we
need to hear from people about how close they are in their relationships and
how that compares to how close they'd ideally like to be."
advocated that their study is effective in improving therapy for the couples by
stressing the actual amount of togetherness each partner desires, instead of
forcing couples to stick to some abstract idea that more closeness is always
good for sustaining a relationship.
The study also revealed
that 55 percent of adults aged between 18 to 35 years believed that Valentine's
Day is the right occasion to communicate more with their partner.
Another significant point that was highlighted
by the study was that around 60 percent of the couples with kids anticipated
having sex on a holiday than parents with no kids living with them.