Bond with your partner over fun activities

Washington: With Valentine’s Day today, all of us are wondering about our couple goals and how to make relationships last longer. Now, a new study finds that when couples play board games together, or take painting classes with each other, their bodies release oxytocin, also known as the ‘hugging hormone’ that may help them bond deeper.

Speaking about it, Karen Melton, Assistant Professor of child and family studies in Baylor’s Robbins College of Health and Human Sciences, said, “We were expecting the opposite — that couples playing the board games would interact more because they were communicating about the games and strategies, or because they were competing, and with more interaction, they would release more  oxytocin.”

Researchers also expected that painting couples would be more attentive to the instructor and to the canvas than to their partners — but instead, couples in the art class reported more partner-touching than couples playing board games.

“Typically, an art class is not seen as an interactive date with your partner. But sometimes couples that were painting turned the activity into a bonding time by choosing to interact —putting an arm around their partner or simply saying, ‘Good job’.” Melton said. Notably, the study is the first to examine how distinct types of leisure are associated with oxytocin release, researchers said.

Melton said that the finding showed that all couples release oxytocin when playing together — and that’s good news for couples’ relationships. “But men in the art class released 2 to 2.5 times more oxytocin than the other groups. This suggests that some types of activities may be more beneficial to males than females, and vice versa,” Melton added. —ANI

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