A study just published by the U.K.'s Open University has found that gay couples are likely to be happier in their relationships than their heterosexual counterparts, but less likely to show affection in public, reports The Independent.
Funded by the Economic and Science Research Council, the study was conducted with a sample size of 5,000 people – including in-depth interviews with 50 people at a later time -- and aimed to uncover the secret of success for modern couples who are able to maintain their relationships despite life’s obstacles.
“LGBQ participants (lesbian, gay, bisexual and queer) are more generally positive about and happier with the quality of their relationship and the relationship which they have with their partner,” the study reports, while “heterosexual parents are the group least likely to be there for each other, to make ‘couple time’, to pursue shared interests, to say ‘I love you’ and to talk openly to one another.”
The study also found couples without children were generally likely to be happier than parents and mothers were the most likely to be unsatisfied with their partners. However, mothers were also found to be “significantly happier with life than any other group,” implying that “children are the primary source of happiness for women rather than a partner.”
While grand romantic gestures were appreciated by all couples regardless of sexuality, findings indicated that simple, thoughtful gestures, such as one partner making a cup of coffee and bringing it to the other in bed, were among the most meaningful examples of loving gestures.
The things people surveyed said things that made them feel most appreciated by their partners included saying thank you and noticing achievements, listening to issues and talking, physical affection (prominently cuddling), and sharing household chores.