Snuggling up by the fire with hot chocolate in hand may sound like an ideal activity for many women, but a recent study suggests men may be the ones happiest after a warm trip to Cuddletown. New research shows that men in committed relationships enjoy physical affection more than women do, so grab a partner and snuggle up!

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In a committed relationship, a regular dose of physical affection (cuddling, holding hands, or bear hugging, for example) can be associated with a couple's satisfaction, stronger attachment bonds, and even easier conflict resolution Seven types of nonsexual romantic physical affection among Brigham young university students. Gullege, AK., Stahmann, RF., Wilson, CM. Department of Counseling and Family Sciences, Loma Linda University, Newport Beach, CA. Psychological Reports 2004 Oct; 95(2):609-14.. But, perhaps more unexpectedly, an interesting new study suggests that frequent cuddling and kissing is an important predictor of happiness for men... but not women Sexual satisfaction and relationship happiness in midlife and older couples in five countries. Heiman, JR., Long, JS., Smith, SN., et al. The Kinsey Institute for Research in Sex, Gender, and Reproduction, Indiana University, Bloomington, IN. Archives of Sexual Behavior 2011 Aug; 40(4):741-53.. Maybe Bridget Jones missed that part in her diary? The recent study, focusing on middle-aged and older couples in committed relationships from five different countries, found that relationship satisfaction for men tended to depend on health, physical intimacy, and sexual activity Sexual satisfaction and relationship happiness in midlife and older couples in five countries. Heiman, JR., Long, JS., Smith, SN., et al. The Kinsey Institute for Research in Sex, Gender, and Reproduction, Indiana University, Bloomington, IN. Archives of Sexual Behavior 2011 Aug; 40(4):741-53.. However, when it came to women, their relationship satisfaction was only dependent on sexual activity (and not, oddly enough, as much on health and physical intimacy). In fact, not only do men seem to enjoy muddling (“manly cuddling”) more than women do, but the study suggests they just crave even more physical affection the longer they’re in a relationship Sexual satisfaction and relationship happiness in midlife and older couples in five countries. Heiman, JR., Long, JS., Smith, SN., et al. The Kinsey Institute for Research in Sex, Gender, and Reproduction, Indiana University, Bloomington, IN. Archives of Sexual Behavior 2011 Aug; 40(4):741-53.. Men were even found to be more likely to say they were happy in their relationship (or course, whether they'd admit it or not is another story). So the next time someone asks to count shoulders during a rom-com, consider giving him a chance and an extra big dose of happiness.

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