What would a relationship be without laughter?
Well, nowhere according to a new survey. When asked what little things keep the spark in their relationship, male and female respondents said that having their partner laugh at their jokes was the most valued aspect of their love — 67.8 percent of women said they cherished laughing the most, and 69.2 percent of men felt the same.
Random smiles and acts of food took second and third place. Women preferred a clandestine smile from their partner (66.8 percent), while the key to the hearts of men was through their stomach (65 percent).
While over 61 percent of women felt receiving a compliment about being sexy or attractive was their most valued relationship perk, that same category did not even make the cut for men. Over 31 percent of men and 36.7 percent of women remarked that getting a compliment from their partner calling them “sexy” or “attractive” put them on a fast track to getting in the mood.
Other sentiments that showed up exclusively for women include being soothed when upset and being called an endearing pet name. On the men’s side, they expressed gratitude for being surprised with a gift and having their partner’s full attention while in conversation.
Getting smiled at, whether often or randomly, was also an arousing interaction for both men and women: 17.4 percent of women preferred it, as did 17.8 percent of men.
Other small gestures became much more important with time spent in a relationship.
The most notable instance of this was when one partner made social plans for the both of them — something that only 3.4 percent of newly coupled people valued, but 10.4 percent of couples together 16 or more years had on their radar.
The survey found that gestures more overtly sexual, such as buying lingerie and walking around the house naked, took a dip as relationships grew older. While 16.8 percent of respondents felt buying lingerie or sex-related items was one of the best ways to spice things up, only 10.3 percent of respondents who were together for 16 years or more felt the same.
Among women, 74.2 percent said leaving room to indulge in some “me” time was the best gift their partner could give. The healthiest relationships strike a balance between time together and apart, leaving both halves of the couple to develop themselves as well as their identity as a duo.
Men, on the other hand, preferred fancying themselves a comedian: 68.5 percent of respondents felt their partner laughing at their jokes was the height of micro-gestures.
In total, 521 women and 451 men participated in the survey. They ranged in age from 18 to 72.
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