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10 proven ways to improve your relationship

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Relationships, eh!? They can be wonderful whirlwinds of riotous passion and overwhelming joy. And, just sometimes, they can be so infuriating and impossible you want to swear celibacy at the first opportunity.

But for those in the midst of relationship woes, or those just looking for a little guidance on the road to love, we have rounded up 10 scientifically proven ways to improve your love life and give your relationship a far improved chance of everlasting success.

STOP TEXTING

A study by US researchers earlier this year came to the conclusion that while texting among couples is fine when the content is tender and loving, SMS should most definitely be avoided during arguments.

Researchers from Brigham Young University found that women who used texts to apologise or settle arguments reported having poorer relationships, while for men, texting too frequently was linked to an unhappier love life.

SLEEP NAKED

A study involving more than 1,000 Brits discovered that couples who sleep together in the nude have a happier time all round.

Cotton USA found that 57 percent of couples who went to bed naked claimed to be happier than the 48 percent who wore pyjamas - and 43 percent who wore nighties - at bedtime.

"There are many factors which can affect the success of a relationship," said Cotton USA's Stephanie Thiers-Ratcliffe. "But one factor which is often overlooked is the bedroom environment."

DON'T HAVE CHILDREN

If you're already blessed with children, look away now.

An Open University study of more than 5,000 couples over two years found that the childless ones were the happiest.

The "Enduring Love?" project suggested that not having kids meant couples were more satisfied with their relationships, were more likely to feel valued by their partner and were more likely to have a more active sex life.

WATCH ROM-COMS

You might need to pause Orange is the New Black if you want to improve your relationship, according to US researchers.

A study of newlyweds by the University of Rochester found that couples who watched and then discussed five films about relationships over the course of a month could cut their chances of divorce.

The study suggested that the approach could be just as effective - and much less expensive - than therapy.

DOUBLE DATE

Some couples love them, others hate the idea of sharing their night with friends , but US researchers claim that going out as a foursome may improve your own relationship.

A study by Wayne State University, in Detroit, found that “Seeing your romantic partner reveal information about his or herself and seeing other people respond to your partner in a validating way may not only give you a new perspective but also make you feel good about them.”

TWEET LESS

Spending more time with your followers than your significant other?

Twitter is the "third wheel" in many relationships, according to a study by the University of Missouri-Columbia.

It found that “active Twitter use leads to greater amounts of Twitter-related conflict between romantic partners, which in turns leads to infidelity, breakup and divorce”.

SAY SORRY

It might be the hardest word, but a US study claims it is one that is key to a happy relationship.

Researchers from Miami, Minnesota and California universities said that a wronged partner valued their relationship more, and were more likely to forgive their loved one, when they apologised for doing something wrong.

"These results strongly suggest that conciliatory gestures facilitate forgiveness and reduce anger by modifying victims' perceptions of their transgressors' value as relationship partners and likelihood of recidivism," the study said.

DON'T RUSH INTO MARRIAGE

Sorry Cheryl, couples who live together before getting married are more likely to stay together for eight years or more, according to researchers from Ohio State University.

The research found that an 18-year-old woman in a relationship has a 16 percent chance of marrying by the age of 22 and staying married for at least 12 years.

However, if she lived with her partner first, that rose to a 22 percent chance.

"There are so many couples that start out cohabiting, and enough of their relationships last that they end up making a significant contribution to the total number of long-term relationships," explained Professor Audrey Light.

CUDDLE

A study of more than 1,000 couples who have been together for an average of 25 years found that frequent kissing and cuddling were important factors in having good relationships.

The world-wide research from the Kinsey Institute at Indiana University found that such tender behaviour is more important to men than to women.

"We know from other research that being in a long-term relationship has some value to health," noted lead researcher Julia Heiman. "Perhaps we can learn more about what makes relationships both sustainable and happy."

BECOME AN OPTOMETRIST

Some careers are linked with higher divorce rates, according to census research.

Married dancers and choreographers had a 43 percent chance of splitting from their partner, according to US data from 2000, while massage therapists, mathematicians and bartenders were also among the top 10 career paths most likely to lead to divorce.

The "safest" professions for a good relationship include optometry, podiatry, farming and nuclear engineering.

Sociologist Terri Orbuch, told The Washington Post: "One of the things I found is that job stress spills over into our relationships. It can be not getting along with our colleagues or our boss ... or the actual amount of time that we need to spend at work or doing work at home that spills over and affects our marriages negatively."

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