Researcher discovers key to successful marriage

July 15, 2015 by Blair Hoover, Rebecca Stratton, University of Kentucky

Multiple factors and behaviors contribute to a healthy, successful marriage. Some of the most commonly known behaviors are disclosure, trust and relational maintenance. However, beyond these pivotal behaviors, University of Kentucky College of Communication and Information professor, Brandi Frisby, may have found the remedy to maintaining a thriving marriage.

"My interest in this topic started off as a personal interest," Frisby said. "I come from a family that is still intact, and I believe that I've benefited from having parents who are in a strong marriage. Although the divorce rate has plateaued, it is still high in the U.S. and I've often wondered what differentiates long lasting marriages, like my parents, from those that end in divorce. As a result, I decided to study flirting as a positive interaction in marriage as a possible strategy that contributes to a happy union."

Research suggests that health declines have been made due to the negative outcomes of not being in healthy, partnered relationships. Flirting to spark a marital relationship has been proven through extensive experimentation to lead longer, healthier lives of the individuals within the companionship.

During an experiment conducted by Frisby and colleagues, participants were shown a picture, then proceeded to flirt with the person the photo featured, then met the person. Results portrayed that after this process, attraction levels increased. Different types of flirting, as well as perception of attraction changed during the experiment, increasing physical and social attraction.

Although flirting is thought to be a more light-hearted aspect of a relationship among younger affairs, Frisby believed flirtation also added a certain sense of satisfaction and commitment to a marital relationship.

Frisby found that flirting within a marriage creates a sense of a private world, as though the two are the only ones in the room. Research provided that this leads to a sense of faithfulness between spouses.

"It seems like couples are always looking for ways to strengthen their marriage," Frisby said. "According to the results of our study, flirting with your spouse has the potential to positively influence marital commitment and satisfaction. Given this positive influence, would be an easy, and free, way to engage in communication for a healthier, happier, stronger ."

Explore further: Research defines more behaviors that reveal romantic attraction

Related Stories

Research defines more behaviors that reveal romantic attraction

February 12, 2015

If you want to know whether people are flirting with you, look at what they say and do. Each person has a different tactic for communicating attraction, or flirting style, and new research suggests that during a short get-to-know-you ...

Recommended for you

Researchers engineer a tougher fiber

February 22, 2019

North Carolina State University researchers have developed a fiber that combines the elasticity of rubber with the strength of a metal, resulting in a tougher material that could be incorporated into soft robotics, packaging ...

A quantum magnet with a topological twist

February 22, 2019

Taking their name from an intricate Japanese basket pattern, kagome magnets are thought to have electronic properties that could be valuable for future quantum devices and applications. Theories predict that some electrons ...

1 comment

Adjust slider to filter visible comments by rank

Display comments: newest first

Squirrel
5 / 5 (1) Jul 16, 2015
Flirting is about creating a mini-private language between you two. Words mean something different as do actions. Its an interpersonal space that is not just fun and play but communication and so "disclosure, trust and relationship maintenance".

Please sign in to add a comment. Registration is free, and takes less than a minute. Read more

Click here to reset your password.
Sign in to get notified via email when new comments are made.