What is normal in relationships these days? A world wide survey of 80 thousand people was conducted recently on exactly this subject of what is normal in a world of anything goes and we should accept all kinds of relationships. What makes couples the happiest anyway? What are extremely happy couples doing? I want to know their formula and I want to try it.
The survey conducted by sociologist and sex experts is reported in a new book called The Normal Bar by Chrisanna Northrup, Pepper Schwartz, PhD. And James Witte, PhD. They interviewed and recorded statements only from the couples who said they were really happy in their relationship. If the happy people are normal then let’s try their brand of normal then.
We need to talk with those who are willing to say that they are extremely happy. That statement takes guts in this world full of disasters, terrorism and sorrow. The main thing revealed about the happiest of couples is that they were unafraid to show outward signs of affection. That means lots of affection. Lots of hand holding, kissing, spontaneous kissing, “I love yous” everyday,
The happy people range from folks who have been together from hello to about 25 years of companionship. There is a fine line for those negative people who have to look at a couple holding hands or kissing. They just get nauseous and want the happy couples to get a room and basically get out of their sight.
Do opposites really attract? Usually one of them talks a lot while the other is mute. The book says that those who seem to be opposites respect each other for who they individually are and then get along great. Their politics didn’t matter nor their different religions matter. What did matter was that they must be affectionate, romantic and simply taking the time for each other.
Unfortunately, children goes way down the list in what makes couples the most happy. Face it, it is hard to raise even the best of children. Both sides of most couples agreed that even in unpleasant situations it is important to discuss issues openly. The silent treatment never works and can only make things even more unpleasant.
Surprisingly, the book reveals that men are more romantic than women. Men are more starved for romance. More men were bothered by the lack of romance in a relationship than women. Men need compliments, the right setting and the right conversation. Ladies, don’t discuss clogged gutters during a romantic night just because you just thought about it during sexual thrusts. We all know ladies can multi-task but don’t be ridiculous.
Women are more critical about men than men being critical of women. Women tend to keep their thoughts to themselves and generally contain themselves. I find that surprising. In the general sense she gets more than she is giving in the love department. The study was translated into seven different languages. The French and the Italians and the Spanish people were more affectionate, more romantic and gave each other more gifts and compliments than people from other countries.
It must be noted that men from France, Italy and Spanish areas were heavy in the secrets and lies departments since affairs and multiple relationships and cheating runs ramped there with not as much stigma as here in the United States. Remember we are talking about the happiest of people not necessarily the most moral of folks. The lies weren’t just about sex. It could even be something like lieing about a college degree when you don’t have one. Women lie about what things cost or prices where men lie about where they were.
So, go to Europe this summer where you will find the most romantic, affectionate, people who have sex more often and there is better food there too. They might be adulterous but they are the happiest people on earth. Adieu, Chow and Adios baby.