Dating And Sex — Can You Have Too Much Of A Good Thing?

Have you ever wondered if there was a magic number for how many times you should be dating and having sex with your partner? It turns out that having too much of a good thing can hurt your relationship.

Whether you prefer dinner and a movie or Netflix and chill, new studies point out that there is a tipping point linking happiness and if you will stay together with the frequency of your date nights and sex.

Photo by Toa Heftiba on Unsplash

The Sex-Happiness Curve

A 2016 study conducted by the Marriage Foundation and the University of Lincoln found that one date per month led to the biggest increase in happiness and the highest chances of staying together. The 10,000 couples polled were monitored for ten years and those who went on monthly date nights were less likely to get divorced than the couples who went out weekly.

The crazy part? The breakup rates of these weekly daters matched those of the couples who never went on dates. While this seems counterintuitive, couples reported that too many dates added financial stress to their relationship while taking away from the personal time needed for self-care.

What about sex? It turns out that too much sex can breed boredom and stress in a relationship. One positive point though, despite what the movies say, is that sex doesn’t die after marriage.

Sex Does Not Die After Marriage

Not only do married couples have more sex than their single counterparts per the General Social Survey, studies show that the magic number for optimal happiness is having sex one time per week. At once per week, partners feel emotionally and physically connected and satisfied.

Sure, some couples who have sex multiple times a week report feeling happier, but just incrementally so. The biggest drop-off is for the couples who don’t meet that one time per week. They report feeling disconnected, unhappy and are at higher risk for a breakup.

How do your statistics stack up? Have you been putting too much pressure on yourself because you thought these magic numbers were higher than what they actually are?

While these numbers only represent averages and all relationships are different, they give you perspective into a healthy relationship. Dates are an opportunity to make your relationship stronger and healthier. Avoid anything that derails your health goals or your budget.

How To Optimize Your Sexual Intimacy

1. Start With One Thoughtful Date a Month.

Studies show that couples who stayed together the longest had a habit of one date a month. So, do not set unrealistic or stressful expectations to crank out weekly or biweekly dates. Sure, you can head to dinner or hang out multiple nights, but make sure you both plan one stellar date a month. Create a calendar to set aside time and look at dating as a way to bond and try new things.

2. Aim to Have Sex at Least Once a Week.

While you might slow down your dates to once a month, aim to have sex weekly. This will bring you both closer emotionally and physically. Of course, every couple is different so make sure to have open discussions about your expectations for the time in bed.

Want more tips about health and relationships? Sign up for my newsletter at Ryan and Alex Duo Life for tips on helping couples become healthy together, and to join free programs such as the Couple’s Yoga Challenge.

A former engineer, Alex, with her husband Ryan, helps couples engineer their best lives together. www.ryanandalex.com

A former engineer, Alex, with her husband Ryan, helps couples engineer their best lives together. www.ryanandalex.com