The results are in. Sure this study was completed in 2013, but the results were reported on CBS News last week as a Shocking New Study! Shocking? What?
#ChildlessCouples seem to be a hot topic right now. Not sure why, as this is our life and the lives of many others. If you have been reading our blog, you would see that it is the lives of 20% of couples just in the United States and who knows worldwide.
So what is this “Shocking” study?
The Economic and Social Research Council of Great Britain published a study in 2013 that addressed the topic, Enduring Love? Couple Relationships in the 21st Century. There were four things they were interested in exploring; 1.) Long-term relationships, 2.) Things couples do to stay together, 3.) What happens at different points in their lives and 4.) what is their experience like with or without kids.
What were the results?
“Childless married and unmarried participants are happier with their relationship and their partner than parents.”
“Unmarried parents are slightly happier than married parents.”
“Non-heterosexual participants are more positive about and happier with the quality of their relationship, relationship with their partner and their relationship maintenance than heterosexual participants.”
“Parents appear to engage in less relationship maintenance than childless participants.”
What’s the “shock” factor?
It is no surprise that couples without kids could appear #happier, let’s face it, kids add stress. But there are a lot of stressors in life and this just proves that couples with or without kids need to take time to be a couple, live as a couple; no matter what stresses they face.
We can’t say it enough; if you have kids, great; if you don’t have kids, great. It is your choice to have kids or no kids around. It is concerning that; according to this study, couples that have children don’t take time for their relationships.
We’ve seen it. I’ve lived it. Growing up my parents were so focused on the lives of us kids that it seemed like they never went on a date alone, and definitely not a vacation with no kids around.
So let’s make a change everyone.
Kids or no kids, let’s take time for our relationships. It doesn’t mean we all have to spend a lot of money on trips around the world, do what works for you as long as you do something with your spouse/partner to remember the enduring love you had when you first got married.
When my sister got married, I said the standard maid-of-honor speech; with one caveat. I told them to remember that moment, the moment they wanted to marry each other and hold that moment close forever. Things happen, life gets stressful, people and things get in the way; but if you can remember the feeling you had when you first thought, “I want to marry this person,” that will help keep that love enduring for many years. Why am I dishing out this kind of advice? No I am not an expert on #relationships but I’ve had my share. Having been married and divorced before gives you time to reflect, and then meeting the love of my life and my “enduring love,” teaches someone an awful lot.
CBS reported this as shocking news and maybe it is? Society seems to persuade people to get married and have kids. Kids are time consuming, and maybe CBS wanted to help people remember to care for their relationships as a couple, or maybe they had dead air to fill. Remember our blog about dinner in Louisiana being consumed by a 2-year old? http://nokidsaround.com/our-very-boring-life/ Whatever the reason @CBSNews aired this just this week; we don’t know; but to us, it is important.
So how do couples endure love over the years?
Seems simple enough, but . . . hard to do when life hits you. According to the study, it was proven the following things are what the happy couples do. Saying thank you, surprising your loved one with a unexpected gesture like a “cup of tea,” sharing in household chores, having “open conversations” to touch base and of course saying, “I love you.”
Looking at our posts on social media one could think we are a couple of boozers. The truth is, we made a commitment to each other when we first met that we would take time for each other every Friday night. Of course over happy hour; we admit it.
After a long workweek with no time for each other, Friday nights were and are our time. Our time to say thank you, have an open conversation about the week and of course say, “I love you.”
Our goal in this blog is to help couples that don’t have kids feel comfortable with their decision. But we also want to provide ideas to parents or empty nesters, so that they know what to do on a night, weekend or vacation with no kids around.
To read the study . . . http://www.open.ac.uk/researchprojects/enduringlove/sites/www.open.ac.uk.researchprojects.enduringlove/files/files/ecms/web-content/Final-Enduring-Love-Survey-Report.pdf
CBS News Story http://www.cbsnews.com/videos/headlines-at-830-childless-couples-are-happier/