This guest article from YourTango was written by Dr. Erica Goodstone.
Did you know that men, not women, are more likely to be happy in a relationship if they are in good health, if they are often cuddling and kissing with their partner, and if their partner tends to have orgasms during sex? Cuddling, it turns out, may be even more important than sexual satisfaction for long term relationships.
Women who remain in long term relationships are more likely to be satisfied with the sexual component and that satisfaction seems to improve over time. But for women, frequent cuddling and kissing does not necessarily lead to relationship satisfaction. Women often require romance as well as a sense of being heard, understood and appreciated.
This research, published in the August 2011 issue of the Archives of Sexual Behavior, studied over 1000 couples, men from 40 to 70 years of age and their partners. The participants were from the U.S., Brazil, Germany, Japan and Spain.
As a relationship healing expert, psychotherapist, counselor, mentor and coach working with individuals and couples for over two decades, I find some of the study statistics to be too simplistic and the generalization too vast. Researchers always focus on the statistical averages but clinicians focus on what is actually happening with individuals.
Some couples do become closer, more cuddly and more sexually satisfied over time. Other couples become more distant, less cuddly and more like roommates. Some couples are really cuddly, touching, hugging and even kissing often, but just like siblings, brothers and sisters, with very little sexual passion.
The reasons for their satisfaction or dissatisfaction with the relationship may have very little to do with whether they are touching regularly or not. So many factors play into the equation. Some childhood issues may have never been resolved. Financial concerns may be looming heavily. Adult children may be creating insurmountable problems that tear at the couple’s intimacy. Aging parents and young children, for those in the sandwich generation years, can certainly interfere with feeling a sense of satisfaction with the relationship. Sometimes one or both partners are wishing “if only” they could escape from their current real-life pressures.
What does it take to build long lasting pleasure, enjoyment, sexual satisfaction and relationship happiness?
For many men and women it takes the willingness to face their own issues, to learn what the other person wants and needs and values, and to truly share what is real for each. Often, counseling can bring two people much closer together after the problems and conflicts are presented and all the cards are out on the table. They can pick up the pieces, reshuffle the deck and create together the relationship of both of their dreams — at any age.
Are you ready, willing and able to restore the love and passion and joy in your long term relationship or marriage? Want to put some pzazz, passion and cuddling back into your daily routine? Need some help? Schedule an appointment with DrErica.
More great content from YourTango:
- Emotional Infidelity: 18 Signs You’re Crossing the Line
- Why Monogamy is Good for Women
- Are You Dating an Emotionally Unavailable Man?