Couple's feet in bed, and couple smiling

ITV survey reveals secrets to a successful long-term relationship

The answer might surprise you

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Been married or in a relationship for 10 years or more and ever wonder how often you should be having sex? Or ever bicker with your partner about whether you’re splitting the housework fairly enough?

Or maybe you’ve only just got together and you’re dithering over when is the *right* time to move in together?

Hand with wedding ring
What are the secrets to a successful relationship? (Credit: ITV)

Ahead of the launch of true crime series Love & Death, ITV commissioned a survey to uncover the secrets to a successful long-term relationship.

Here’s what they found…

How often you should be having sex to stay happy

In a survey of 2,000 British couples who have been together for a decade or longer, researchers identified “having fun together”, “admitting when you are wrong” and “always having each other’s backs”, as the three most important elements of a happy long-term relationship.

Feet and legs in bed
How often should married couples have sex? (Credit: Pexels)

Interestingly, only 26% of couples seemed to think a 50/50 division of household chores was important to marriage success. Even fewer (20%) valued liking the same TV shows.

Taking things to the bedroom, almost a quarter of couples said that they needed a “similar sex drive” to their partner. Meanwhile, a third picked out “regular sex” as a secret to a successful relationship.

But how regular is regular? SEVEN emerged as the magic number of times to be doing the deed every month, according to researchers.

Is it too early to move in together?

Meanwhile, newer couples might be interested to know that the honeymoon period apparently ends after approximately nine months.

Screenshot from Love & Death
Love & Death arrives on ITV X on Friday September 7 (Credit: ITV)

Married couples survery

The survey concluded that it’s probably best to wait a bit longer than that before moving in with your partner.

One year and five months was found to be the average point to move in together, to ensure a successful long-term relationship.

Meanwhile, a spokesperson for ITVX who commissioned the poll said: “It’s fascinating to learn that almost half of all married couples in the UK are impacted by infidelity. Thankfully, the vast majority of British couples are able to resolve things amicably.”

The secrets to a happy long-term relationship:

  1. Having fun together – 64 percent
  2. Admitting when you are wrong – 51 percent
  3. Always having each other’s backs – 50 percent
  4. Compromise – 50 percent
  5. Having no secrets – 43 percent
  6. Being able to laugh at each other – 42 percent
  7. Never stopping saying I love you – 42 percent
  8. Having the same sense of humour – 41 percent
  9. Never trying to change each other – 36 percent
  10. Regular sex – 32 percent
  11. Never going to sleep on an argument – 31 percent
  12. Being able to cry in front of each other – 27 percent
  13. A 50/50 division of household chores – 26 percent
  14. A similar sex drive – 24 percent
  15. Regular time apart – 22 percent
  16. Liking the same TV shows – 20 percent
  17. Cooking together – 17 percent
  18. Having separate bank accounts. – 16 percent
  19. Having the same bedtime – 15 percent
  20. Having an open phone policy – 10 percent
  21. Like the same takeaways – 10 percent
  22. Never going to the loo in front of each other – 7 percent
  23. Being aligned politically – 6 percent
  24. Forgiving an infidelity – 5 percent
  25. Separate beds – 5 percent

Love & Death is available to stream on ITVX from Thursday September 7. It tells the unbelievable true story of Candy Montgomery (Elizabeth Olsen), a 1980s Texas housewife accused of murder.

Read more: Man sparks backlash as he begs his wife to wear less ‘revealing’ and ‘skimpy’ clothing in front of his mother

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Gabrielle Cracknell
Freelance Writer

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