Healthy Relationship Statistics


11 Healthy Relationships Stats That Will Change the Way You Date

Mackenzie Buck

Written by: Mackenzie Buck

Mackenzie Buck

Mackenzie Buck is an experienced writer who earned a master's degree with distinction from the University of Manchester. Her relationship advice has been featured on the New York Post, among other publications. She has worn a variety of hats in the digital marketing space over the years and is excited to bring her unique voice and storytelling chops to DatingAdvice.

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Edited by: Lillian Castro

Lillian Castro

Lillian Guevara-Castro brings more than 30 years of journalism experience to ensure DatingAdvice articles have been edited for overall clarity, accuracy, and reader engagement. She has worked at The Atlanta Journal and Constitution, The Gwinnett Daily News, and The Gainesville Sun covering lifestyle topics.

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Romantic love is all around us. We see it in the elderly couple holding hands across the street. We see it on our daily hours-long doom-scroll through Instagram. And we see it in essentially every piece of art that’s ever existed: books, music, movies, magazines, paintings, sculptures. The list goes on. 

The existence of love is quite clear. What hasn’t always been clear, however, is what makes that love — that deep, intimate connection between two people — a healthy one. Which key elements separate the combustible connections from the sturdy ones? Which skills help us to grow closer to our partners in healthy ways? And how can we better integrate these skills and components into our own relationship experiences? These are the questions we seek to dig into with the following healthy relationship statistics. 

1. About 64% of Americans in Relationships Say They’re Happy

We’re living in a post-pandemic world. The U.S. government just confirmed the existence of aliens. And grocery store prices are higher than they’ve been in decades. It’d be reasonable to assume that the average American’s faith in love has suffered, too, right? Apparently not.

Relationship Happiness chart from eharmony's study
An eharmony study found that most American couples are happy with their relationships.

According to “The Happiness Index”, a national survey conducted by eharmony and Harris Interactive, 64% of respondents report that they are “very happy” in their current romantic relationships. What’s more, 50% of those respondents claim to be just as happy with their sex lives. 

The explanation for such a phenomenon is nearly impossible to pinpoint, but my theory is this: In the midst of struggle and strife, people simply want something to feel hopeful about. Something to bring them joy. Something to keep them standing strong when the ground feels like it’s crumbling beneath them. And what better remedy than a dose of the good stuff (a little l-o-v-e) to do just that?

2. Three Out of Four Couples Who Report Effective Communication Feel More Emotionally Connected

You’ve heard it once, you’ve heard it a million times: Communication is key. But what exactly does good communication entail? According to a study conducted by behavioral scientists at Berkeley College, it entails, among other things, participating in responsive listening. This type of listening involves engaging in certain verbal and non-verbal behaviors such as nodding your head, angling your body toward the speaker, or verbalizing words like “Hmm” or “I see” intermittently. 

These efforts are meant to not only reassure the speaker that you’re invested in the conversation but to create a safe space for them to continue.

One of the fundamentals in a relationship is collaborative dialogue, which is dependent on listening with your good ear” — Dr. Susan Heitler, clinical psychologist

Based on the results of the study, it works. 78% of participants who claimed to practice responsive listening in their relationships reported feeling more emotionally connected to their romantic partner or spouse. 

Findings by clinical psychologist and Harvard graduate Dr. Susan Heitler offer similar insights. Based on her research and decades of experience running a marriage coaching program, the most successful relationships are those where open and honest communication, collaboration, and responsive listening are standard practices when conflict arises.

3. Regular Date Nights Mean Great Marriage Satisfaction for 83% of Couples

Adulting is hard. We’ve got bills to pay, appointments to make, and (for some of us) tiny humans to raise. Living under the weight of all of these responsibilities can make it pretty appealing to kick off your shoes, throw on some Netflix, and call it a night once Friday comes around. But if you’re hoping to keep the flame of your romantic love burning for years and years to come, you may want to reconsider. 

According to a study conducted by the National Marriage Project earlier this year, 83% of heterosexual couples who go on regular date nights report higher marriage satisfaction.

Summer Date Ideas
Spending quality time on a date can help couples reconnect and keep the spark alive.

Date nights, which can range from outdoor picnics to art gallery visits to fancy cocktails at the newest rooftop bar, serve as a playground for exploring emotional connection and intimacy — both of which are vital factors in the longevity of a romantic relationship.

If you’re looking to start incorporating date nights into your regular schedule, it’s crucial to remember this: It doesn’t necessarily matter if the date costs $30 or $300. What matters is that you’re setting the intention to spend quality time together and water the seeds of your beautiful connection. 

4. Happy Marriages Can Decrease One’s Perception of Pain

Love conquers all — including, apparently, our perceptions of pain and suffering. In a research study – cleverly titled “What’s Love Got To Do With It?” – two psychologists from Harvard and Bryn Mawr College explored the connection between marital satisfaction and perceived levels of health on a day-to-day basis in older adults. And they found a statistically significant link. 

Individual respondents who, on a given day, reported higher levels of satisfaction in their marriage also reported fewer complaints of physical and emotional pain that same day. Of course, correlation does not necessarily equate to causation (shout out to the scientific method), so it’s not clear what exactly creates this link. Still, the conductors of the study suggest that “…a less satisfying marriage leaves one more vulnerable to the negative daily impact of health problems.”

5. About 40% of Young Singles Refuse to Settle

”Wait. Isn’t this supposed to be an article about healthy relationships? Why are we talking about being single?” Just bear with me. I promise it’ll all make sense in a second.

In 2018, love experts from Tinder, a massively successful dating app owned by Match Group, conducted a survey on 1,036 young adults with the intention of understanding the opinions on singledom from the perspectives of different generations. 

Many findings became clear after analyzing the answers to questions about why respondents are currently single, whether they feel that being single has been beneficial to them, and how being single has changed the way they approach new opportunities. One of the most interesting findings was that 40% of respondents agreed to the following statement: “I won’t settle for the wrong person, but I’m open to meeting a long-term potential partner.” 

Photo of singles from Tinder
Millennial and Gen Z daters have clear priorities in the dating world.

Young singles, it seems, are becoming attuned to the freedom and flexibility of an independent life, but haven’t lost hope when it comes to finding love and long-term partnership.

For millennials and Gen Zs who are currently single, this is great news! Why? Because it increases your chances of coming across a young person who is in the dating game for more definitive reasons. These daters have seen and experienced the benefits of single life, yet are open to a committed relationship with the right person. They know what they want and they won’t settle for less — which means, if they’re choosing to commit to you, you must be pretty great! 

6. Relationship Satisfaction Increases When Couples Demonstrate Appreciation

It’s easy to fall into the trap of thinking that love is the only ingredient to a happy relationship. If two people love each other, they’ll make it work, right? Not necessarily. In fact, the current divorce rate in the United States points to the contrary. 

What does make relationships happy and successful? According to recent research, the expression of gratitude and appreciation is one significant answer. Results from a study published in the Journal of Personality and Social Psychology showed that participants who felt consistently and genuinely appreciated by their partners demonstrated more appreciation for their partners in return.

Not only did these partners express more relationship satisfaction overall but they also reported feeling more committed to staying in these relationships long term. 

This is likely because expressions of gratitude create a safe space for healthier dialogue, healthier listening practices, and healthier partnerships overall. 

7. “Turning Toward” Is the #1 Predictor of Lasting Relationships

“Turning toward,” according to Love Lab Founders Dr. John Gottman and Dr. Julie Schwartz Gottman, is “acknowledging and engaging with your partner’s attempt to connect.” These attempts to connect — also referred to as “bids” — can range anywhere from trying to show your partner a funny video on Instagram to flashing them a sweet smile from across the table at a group dinner to letting out a deep sigh at the end of a long day. These attempts may seem small and insignificant, sure. But responding to them can have more powerful implications than you may think. 

In fact, after decades of research in the topic of love and relationships, the Gottmans have found this simple yet profound act to be the number one predictor of successful relationships. These efforts to engage — and a partner’s responses to them — serve as the building blocks to connection, ones that go on to form the foundation of a strong, healthy, and long-lasting relationship. 

8. Over 80% of Couples Report High Levels of Intimacy

I don’t know about you, but I feel like long-distance relationships get a bad rap. Many people specifically avoid them, and even more make social media videos complaining about them (or is that just my feed?). But, it turns out, they’re a lot more successful than we may have predicted. 

Based on the results of new research, approximately 58% of long-distance relationships last. What’s more, couples in these relationships report feeling higher levels of intimacy than those living in closer proximity. This could be explained by many different factors, but the likely cause comes down to the age-old adage: “Distance makes the heart grow fonder.” In other words, people in long-distance relationships know that quality time with their partners is limited; keeping that in mind (whether intentionally or not), they try to make the most of their short visits as best they can. 

9. Baby Boomers Often Rank Their Relationship as Healthy

How we view our relationships is a vital component of how we view and approach the world around us. Apparently, it can be argued, baby boomers are doing the best out of all of us.

According to a recent Innerbody survey of 686 people from various backgrounds in the United States, baby boomers gave themselves an average score of 8.404 when asked to rank their relationship on a scale from 1 (very toxic) to 10 (very healthy). 

Generational relationship score breakdown by Innerbody
Baby boomers are the generation most likely to say their relationship is healthy.

The other generations surveyed didn’t fall too far behind (Gen Xs with 8.041, millennials with 8.282, and Gen Zs with 7.974), but the question still remains: What’s making Baby Boomers come out on top? Could it be less frequent or zero usage of social media? Could it be more traditional values? It seems impossible to say for sure.

But it is important to note that these are self-rankings, and how individuals define healthy relationships and toxic relationships can change from one generation to another.

10. Men Are More Likely to Feel Their Relationship Is Healthy

The same Innerbody survey discussed above churned out another interesting result. When comparing the gender differences between the correspondents’ rankings of perceived relationship health, men came out on top. These men felt more equal to their partners, reported receiving more affection from their partners, and experienced more feelings of individuality within their relationships than did women. 

Graph of men and women's relationship rankings
Men in the survey were more likely to say their relationship was healthy and equitable.

Researchers at Innerbody note that this may come down to differences in experience more than anything else: “It’s likely men genuinely experience healthier relationships with their partners than women do. It’s also likely that these relationships are unevenly weighted, where men think their relationships are healthier than they actually are.” 

Because this survey did not collect enough responses from those in homosexual relationships, these results cannot speak for men and women in the LGBTQ+ community

11. Couples in Healthy Relationships Are 50% More Likely to Live Longer

If you weren’t motivated to put in the work to build healthy relationships before, you certainly will be now. According to research on the link between mortality risk and relationship dynamics, individuals in happy and healthy relationships (both romantic and platonic) are 50% more likely to live longer than individuals who aren’t. In fact, the impact of such social relationships are so significant that they’re even comparable to other, more commonly-accepted predictors of death, such as smoking and alcohol consumption. 

Studies Show That Healthy Relationships Are Within Reach

Healthy relationship statistics can provide a guideline for singles and couples looking to live their best life with their best partner.

We’ve seen in these numbers evidence that strong relationships can improve a person’s quality of life. What does this mean for science? It likely means that social and romantic relationships need to be given a lot more consideration when it comes to matters of physical and mental health.

What does this mean for me? That I should start preemptively looking into couples therapy.

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