DETROIT, Feb. 12 (UPI) -- Married couples who double date or integrate other couples into their social lives are more apt to have satisfying relationships, U.S. researchers suggests.
Richard B. Slatcher, assistant professor of psychology in Wayne State University's College of Liberal Arts and Sciences, suggests that spending quality time with other couples may be an important way to improve long-term dating relationships.
Slatcher's study, "When Harry and Sally met Dick and Jane: Experimentally creating closeness between couples," published in Personal Relationships, investigated 60 dating couples in a controlled laboratory setting.
Each couple was paired with another couple and given a set of questions to discuss as a group. Half of the groups were given high-disclosure questions intended to spark intense discussion, while the other half were given small-talk questions that focused on everyday, unemotional activities.
"In this study, we discovered that those couples who were placed in the 'fast friends' group felt closer to the couples they interacted with, and were more likely actually to meet up with them again during the following month," Slatcher says in a statement.
"We also learned that these same couples felt that this friendship put a spark in their own relationships, and they felt much closer to their romantic partners."