Cou­ples who re­fer to them­selves as ‘we’ and ‘us’ lead hap­pier lives than oth­ers

The Sunday Guardian - - Profile -

LON­DON: When a cou­ple has been to­gether for a very long time, it can be easy to think of them­selves as a col­lec­tive unit, a ‘two-for-one pack­age’, rather than as sep­a­rate in­di­vid­u­als. While some may find the no­tion of ex­ces­sive in­ter­de­pen­dence in a re­la­tion­ship slightly nau­se­at­ing, ac­cord­ing to re­cent re­search, cou­ples who re­fer to them­selves as “we” and “us” in con­ver­sa­tion are more likely to be hap­pier in love than those who don’t. Re­searchers from the Uni­ver­sity of Cal­i­for­nia in­ves­ti­gated the cor­re­la­tion be­tween the use of first-per­son plu­ral pro­nouns (such as “we”, “our”, “us”) and the health of ro­man­tic re­la­tion­ships. The team, led by psy­chol­o­gist Me­gan Rob­bins, an­a­lysed 30 stud­ies in­volv­ing more than 5,000 par­tic­i­pants, half of whom were mar­ried. The re­searchers took five main fac­tors into ac­count: how long the cou­ples have been to­gether; their be­hav­iour within the re­la­tion­ships; the men­tal health of the par­tic­i­pants; their phys­i­cal health; and how well they look af­ter them­selves on a daily ba­sis. They came to the con­clu­sion that “we-talk” proved ben­e­fi­cial in all cat­e­gories, cor­re­spond­ing with hap­pier re­la­tion­ships on all counts.

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