By Stephen Beech via SWNS
The 'sweet nothings' lovers whisper to each other are key to maintaining a healthy sex life, suggests a new study.
Researchers have discovered new evidence that "love languages" are vital for maintaining a happy relationship.
They found that the relationship satisfaction of heterosexual couples of all ages was linked to meeting both one’s own and one’s partner’s love-language needs.
Study lead author Olha Mostova, of the University of Warsaw in Poland, said: "Our findings suggest that people who better match each other’s preferences for love languages are more satisfied with their relationships and sexual life.
”Love languages refer to the popular idea that people differ both in the ways they express affection and the ways they wish to receive it.
"This hypothesis involves five distinct love languages: words of affirmation, spending quality time together, gift-giving, acts of service, and physical touch.
"Despite its popularity, the concept of love languages remains relatively under-explored."
To deepen understanding, Ms. Mostova and her colleagues conducted a study of 100 heterosexual couples who had been together for between six months and 24 years.
The participants were aged 17 to 58, and each completed a questionnaire with questions developed in prior research on love languages.
The survey evaluated the participants’ preferred love languages to use when expressing love to their partner, and in turn, which love languages used by their partner most make them feel loved.
The data enabled the research team to identify the degree of any mismatches within each couple. They also assessed participants’ relationship satisfaction, sexual satisfaction, and empathy.
The analysis showed that, for both men and women, participants whose partners used the love languages they preferred to receive had higher levels of relationship and sexual satisfaction.
Greater satisfaction was also found among participants who reported using the love languages their partners preferred to receive, according to the findings published in the journal PLOS One.
The researchers had hypothesized that empathy would be associated with a greater tendency for a participant to use the love language their partner prefers to receive.
However, Ms. Mostova said: "While the analysis showed some small support for certain sub-types of empathy affecting male participants’ relationship experiences, this hypothesis was not supported overall."
While the study only included heterosexual couples, Ms. Mostova added: "Focusing on partners’ love-language needs might be effective in relationship counseling. "
The researchers said future studies could examine whether love-language matching actually causes greater satisfaction, or instead arises from it or an entirely different factor.
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