The GuardianThe Guardian

The best way to improve your relationship? Bond over your bad behaviour

By Zoe Williams

02 May 2023 · 1 min read

Editor's Note

Research has found that couples who engage in "unhealthy" behavior together have higher relationship satisfaction than those who do self-improvement activities. The Guardian weighs in on the findings.

In further Dispatches from Universities Proving Things You Already Knew, academics in Zurich have shown that couples who do unhealthy things together – smoking, loafing and eating junk food – have higher relationship satisfaction than those who share improving activities, such as going for a run.

If you’re in a relationship as old as or older than the pandemic, you have probably run the gamut of shared activities, from Yoga with Adriene to smoking. Perhaps you think any problems you encountered at the healthy end are specific to your partner, and if you had had a different spouse to go running with, for instance, they might have been a little bit less annoying.

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