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Two thirds of Brits feel starved of affection, according to new research. A study of 2,000 people aged 25-54 in relationships shows many feel their ‘work-hard, play-hard’ lifestyle leaves little time for intimacy.
As many as six out of ten couples said they wished they spent more time kissing, cuddling and being affectionate with their partner.
It also emerged most couples are lucky to have sex more than four times a month, and many kiss or cuddle just once or twice a day.
Researchers also found one third of couples can sometimes go days without touching each other – in fact, one in 20 never kiss, and a further 7% don’t ever cuddle.
Susan Quilliam, relationship psychologist for Durex Embrace, which commissioned the study, said:
”We live such busy, tiring lives that we end up putting intimacy right to the bottom of the agenda.
”But it’s a serious mistake. A shocking two-thirds of us lack physical touch and emotional connection – and if that need isn’t met, our relationships suffer.
”We all know, deep down, that we need more touch; we need to talk about our feelings and the things that are important to us.
”But instead we keep our distance, physically and emotionally. We need to reverse that trend and start connecting on every level; otherwise relationships nationwide will continue to fade and fail.”
The study also found one in four couples admit they are more likely to Facebook, text or email their partner than speak face-to-face.
And a further 22% say that when they are at home, they’ll often sit at opposite ends of the sofa rather than cuddle up.
Rather than expressing emotion and affection for a partner through touch, 14% of couples would prefer to put nice comments on Facebook, while 11% would post a pleasant tweet about them.
When asked why they spend so little time showing each other affection, 55% claim to be exhausted after a busy day at work.
And a further 47% of people often feel that their partner isn’t interested in hearing about their day, or what they have been up to.
Consequently, two thirds of these are less likely to want to be affectionate with a partner who is disinterested or preoccupied with their own interests.
Unsurprisingly, 32% of people feel their current relationship is a bit stagnant and ‘stuck in a rut’.
Just under half of those polled wish their partner could be a bit more emotional and loving with them, particularly as many people rate kissing, cuddling and intimacy as fundamental parts of a happy relationship.
The study shows that when couples do spend quality time together and talk, they are more likely to discuss practical things like the housework and the school run than their feelings about each other.
Discussions about the children, other family member and friends are also more prominent and frequent than conversations about the future or feelings about what has happened that day.
But with a resounding 83% of people voting talking as the most important part of a relationship, it stands to reason that if they don’t talk, they don’t go on to have body contact.
Susan Quilliam added:
”These findings show clearly that we need to connect more deeply with our partners on a daily basis.
”The emotional intimacy that comes from talking together, sharing emotions, and having great sex is what really connects you.”