Couples who go to bed in the buff are happier than others, according to a recent survey. No PJs = easier access to BJs (and other stuff!).
Masters of Sex
1. “When I need to talk to my husband about a delicate sex issue, I replace the words ‘You never’ with ‘I would love’. ‘You never give it to me hard enough’ is a burn. But ‘I would love you to give it to me harder’ is dirty talk.” —Anita, 38, married to husband Karan for six years
2. “No matter what, there’s always time for a quickie. F*ck your dinner reservation!” —Jay, 33, married to wife Ria for two years
Ria says: “We’re fans of spontaneous make-out sessions. We recently did it in the parking lot after a romantic date!”
3. “Oral is a sexual olive branch for us. When I really want him to run to the store or take me to the mall, I bribe him with a BJ. And when he wants me to make him dinner, he knows it will sweeten the deal if he goes downtown on me. Oral solves pretty much anything.” —Shreya, 29, dating boyfriend Kabir for three years
4. “We have a secret code for getting it on—‘M.O.’, short for make out. We’ll throw it out in conversation, over texts, and in e-mails, as in ‘Wanna M.O. later?’ It keeps the sparks flying.” —Neha, 32, married to husband Vikram for eight years
The Little Things
“A silly little tradition that works for us: he tucks me in every night. I go to bed earlier than he does so I can wake up earlier for work, so he’ll pull the covers over me, turn down the lights and the TV, lie with me for a minute, and give me a little hug. It’s a nice quiet moment that reminds us how much we love and like each other...and that a little cuddling can go a long way.” —Manasi, 35, married to husband Anish for 10 years
1. “We’ve been together for eight years—but we rarely, if ever, pee or fart in front of each other. It’s just not sexy!” —Priyanka, 27, married to husband Sukrit for three years
2. “I always give her the last bite of my sandwich because I don’t like the ‘crust’, and she gives me her leftover pasta. It’s a reminder that the other still thinks about you and cares.” —Saurav, 23, dating girlfriend Alisha for two years
Alisha says: “The simple things make me feel like I’m reliving the falling-in-love part of the relationship, and nothing’s better than that.”
3. “Most couples aspire to a king-size bed—but we’re sticking with our queen forever. It keeps us close even when we’re not feeling super romantic or sexy. I don’t always love the proximity of his snoring, but it’s a bonus for us to wake up every morning in each other’s business, or more likely, spooning.” —Akanksha, 32, -married to husband Kartik for one year
The amount of time per week the happiest couples spend ‘working on their relationship’—going on dates, chatting after work, kissing good night—it all adds up, people.
Keeping It Fresh
1. “Unless something urgent comes up, we don’t e-mail, text, or call each other during the workday. That way, we can come together for dinner (which we do almost every night) and find out about each other’s day. It feels like date night every night.” —Malini, 35, dating boyfriend Mukul for 10 years
Mukul says: “It’s nice to come back and catch up on our day. We pay more attention to each other.”
2. “Every year, we take a trip to somewhere neither of us has been. We got engaged in Thailand and recently went to Turkey. Exploring new places gives us something to look forward to for months before, and reminisce about for months afterward.” —Seher, 32, married to husband Nikhil for three years
3. “A little jealousy won’t kill anyone. In fact, it’s healthy—when my boyfriend sees someone hitting on me, it’s a reminder that I’m still a hot piece.” —Kriti , 29, dating boyfriend Dhruv for four years
The Art of the Deal
1. “We split up the cleaning duties by room in our small apartment. I really hate doing the sink, so he gets in there in his boxers, so as not to get his regular clothes wet. There’s nothing like the sight of a nearly naked man scrubbing away in such a focused way because I asked him to.” —Kiara, 32, married to husband Ramit for three years
Ramit says: “I’m getting a bargain. Kiara hates cleaning the sink so much that I can trade it for an overall increase in her work load. As in, how many other rooms is she willing to clean, just to get out if it... That makes us both happy.”
Fights Done Right
1. “Accept that even your soulmate acts like an *ssh*l* sometimes! But we give more weight to the things we love about each other.” —Netra, 30, married to husband Roy for three years
2. “We don’t feel the need to apologise if we have a little fight. We just say, ‘Listen, I’m not sorry, but I don’t want this to get awkward, so let’s go about our day. Give me a kiss. Also, I’m not sorry.’” —Sasha, 29, dating boyfriend Rohan for 10 years
The Science Behind Making Love Last
Researchers at The Gottman Institute in Seattle have studied thousands of couples and found that the happiest ones share these three go-to habits.
1. Push The Positive: The magic ratio of your positive interactions (great convos, hook-ups) to negative ones (fights, eye rolls) should be 5:1. “The more positivity there is, the more we feel our partner loves us,” says Don Cole, a licensed marriage and family therapist at the institute, who has counselled hundreds of couples.
2. Master The Make Up: Even happy couples fight sometimes—but they’re better at making up. “Successful couples don’t let things fester for days,” says Cole. They talk it out, apologise, and get back to normal pretty quickly. Make up and make out—make that your new motto.
3. Dream Together: Couples who are winning at love “really pay attention to each other’s dreams,” says Cole. It doesn’t matter if your goal is to cure cancer and his is to be the next Mark Zuckerberg. Finding a partner who respects your dreams (and making sure he knows you feel his are legit) makes you feel supported. As for your shared dream of true love? Poof—there’s a good chance of it coming true.
These couples kept the sparks alive and how! Watch and learn.
Dwarki, 89, and Walati Singh, 90 Married for 67 years
DWARKI: You’re the one responsible for your marriage. If you keep fighting and complaining, your relationship won’t be the best.
Walati: After a certain age, husband and wife become like one body, and one life. Your life becomes one and love is what keeps it going.
Anuradha, 55, and Udayan, 56 Dated for 10 years, Married for 32 more years
ANURADHA: No matter how long you’ve been together, if you’re not accepting of each others positive and negative attributes, then there’s really no point. Complete acceptance is the only way to make a marriage work, and to love the person whole-heartedly.
UDAYAN: We respect each other’s individual relationships, regardless of our personal biases. That’s the only secret!
‘The ultimate marriage test. The older the photo, the longer the marriage lasts.’
5 Relationship Things You Shouldn’t Stress About
Because at the end of the day, mutual obsession with Suits is a bonus, not a prerequisite, for lasting love.
1. He never posts Facebook statuses on your anniversary. But he tells you he loves you to your face all the time. So do all your second cousins really need to know that ‘two years ago today, [he] married his best friend’?
2. He hasn’t perfected the art of gift giving. He’s not the type to create a scavenger hunt that ends in a puppy wearing a diamond ring on its collar? Rude! But there’s no shame in saving yourselves some grief and e-mailing him a link to the Marc Jacobs bag you really want for your birthday.
3. Sometimes you totally go to bed angry. It’s okay to call bullsh*t on this old-school love law. Sometimes sleeping on it and waking up with a fresh perspective is a lot better than bickering until 2 am on a work night.
4. You occasionally just ‘do your own thing’ for dinner. No one feels like going full Julia Child after a long day, so he reheats some pizza and one hour later, you eat leftover soup? Technically, you’re not eating alone. You’re eating alone...together in the same apartment.
5. You don’t like any of the same movies. Or TV shows. You’re considering Game of Thrones cosplay; he has no idea what Downtown Abbey is. No worries, you’re not doomed, because you’re both big fans of something way more important: Sunday-night sex.