Are you and your partner constantly communicating in quotes from movies you love or calling each other nicknames? These things may seem silly, but it turns out, they’re the sign of a solid relationship. Couples that play together, stay together and a new study backs it up.
In general, being playful can help us manage stress and boost creativity, but in romantic relationships? Playfulness can boost satisfaction and lead to stronger connections, according to thenew studyfrom researchers in Germany and Pennsylvania State University. Lead study authorKayBrauerexplains, “Playful behaviors contribute to strengthening the social bond and increasing intimacy and mutual trust.”
So what counts as being playful? It looks different for everyone, but these playful acts have been proven to be be very beneficial for couples:
- Flirting- You can still flirt with your S.O. even when you’re in a committed relationship and it helps encourage appreciation, affection and playfulness.
- Nicknames- Whether it’s a general term of endearment, like bae, or a personal pet name you have for your partner, nicknames express affection, reinforce love and boost satisfaction, according to clinical sexologistRachel Sommer.
- Teasing- We’re talking about the playful banter kind, not critical teasing that can be hurtful. When done right, poking fun at each other keeps things light and relieves tension, like when you’re bickering over who loads the dishwasher theRIGHTway.
- Inside jokes- No one else gets them, but you and your boo are crying laughing over them and that’s a big form of connection. Brauer says having a secret language only you and your partner get increases feelings of intimacy.
- General silliness- If your partner cracks you up by singing “99 Bottles of Beer” when you ask them to sing the baby a lullaby, that’s the silliness we’re talking about. Playful interactions like this lighten the mood, make you smile and make your bond stronger.