Are you planning on getting some sweet, sweet alone time with that special someone in your life on Valentine's Day? Why? So you can stare into one another's eyes and be reminded of just how stale and boring life together has become?
No. What you need is a double date. Science says it's going to make everything right.
That's what this release about a new study seems to be suggesting: "Romantic relationships often start out as enjoyable or even exciting, but sometimes may become routine and boring. A Wayne State University study reveals that dating couples that integrate other couples into their social lives are more likely to have happy and satisfying romantic relationships."
How did science discover that having friends may help a romantic relationship be more "satisfying"?
Researchers began by herding 60 dating couples into a "laboratory setting" where each couple was paired with another couple and either given types of "high-disclosure" questions designed to trigger "intense" discussion or small-talk questions that "focused on everyday, unemotional activities."
Couples who discussed "high-disclosure" questions reported learning more about their romantic partners and just generally having much more of a good time than the couples who were stuck gabbing about boring stuff. They were also more likely to want to hang out together again.
"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 to actually meet up with them again during the following month," Richard Slater, an assistant professor of psychology who conducted the research, said in the release. "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."
If that's not enough of a ringing endorsement of double dating, Dr. Slater breaks it down even further just so you get the point: "This study suggests that if your romantic relationship has a case of the doldrums, having fun with another couple may help make your own relationship more satisfying."