It seems that absence really does make the heart grow fonder. A new survey has found that the secret to a successful relationship is very simple - don’t spend too much time together.
Of the 1,000 adults TeamSport questioned, one third admitted that taking time out to bond with friends made them happier in their own relationship.
“As a nation, we are guilty of wanting to spend way too much time with our partners, and although being in a relationship is one of the greatest feelings in the world, it’s also important that we let our partners breath and allow them have a life of their own,” said dating coach Suzie Parkus.
Don’t panic: vegging out in front of your favourite boxset is fine, just as long as you don’t do it all the time.
Psychotherapist Hilda Burke adds: “Often many people’s happiness relies solely on their partner, which isn’t healthy. Depending on another person to fulfil all of our needs can often mean setting ourselves up to feel disappointed and resentful.”
More men than woman admitted that spending too much time with their partner led to arguments and the survey showed that they were also better at spending more time with their friends.
It's not the first time findings like this have come to light; in 2012, a study by the University of Michigan's Institute published in the Wall Street Journal found that having enough space, or privacy, in a relationship is even more important to a couple's happiness than a good sex life.
"When individuals have their own friends, their own set of interests, when they are able to define themselves not by their spouse or relationship, that makes them happier and less bored," Dr. Orbuch, who ran the study, revealed.
So here's to more me-time!