Better start chugging down booze with your significant other — it may lead to a longer relationship.
Although there has been lots of research done on the secrets to long-lasting relationships, a new study has discovered a very simple way to keep the fire burning: alcohol.
According to a recent study published in The Journals of Gerontology Series B: Psychological Series, couples who drink alcohol together are more likely to stay together longer.
Cue obligatory "Drunk in Love" gif.
Reuters reports that the study surveyed nearly 3,000 couples that had been married for an average of 33 years (two-thirds of whom were in their first marriage), and found that couples over the age 50 had better marriages if both partners drank or if both abstained from alcohol. But, if one person in the marriage abstained from drinking while the other partner drank, couples were more likely to report being unsatisfied in their marriage, especially wives.
Couples who drank together "reported decreased negative marital quality over time," the study says, and the results were also "significantly greater among wives."
"Wives who reported drinking alcohol reported decreased negative marital quality over time when husbands also reported drinking and increased negative marital quality over time when husbands reported not drinking," the study says.
"We're not suggesting that people should drink more or change the way they drink," study author Dr. Kira Birditt of the University of Michigan, told Reuters. "We're not sure why this is happening, but it could be that couples that do more leisure time activities together have better marital quality."
However, just because couples who drank together reported being in more satisfying marriages, doesn't mean they didn't have problems.
"We're not suggesting that people should drink more or change the way they drink."
Birditt said that drinking among older people is becoming a problem, "especially among baby boomers, who seem more accepting of alcohol use."
Approximately 20 per cent of men and six per cent of women in the study reported significant drinking problems.
"Serious heavy drinkers have disruptive relationships with people, particularly their partners," University of Michigan's Dr. Fred Blow, who didn't work on the study, told Reuters. "That’s an important issue that should be looked at going forward."