Turns out some of the least-sexy household chores can enhance your relationship satisfaction when performed together.
They say “sharing is caring”, and when it comes to carrying out household chores, this simply couldn’t be more true.
According to new research conducted by The Council of Contemporary Families and published in Socius, heterosexual couples who share the household load tend to experience a greater sense of relationship satisfaction than those who take on these tasks solo.
Two chores, in particular, saw the most interesting results: Grocery shopping and washing dishes.
For the men of today, sharing the weekly shop with a partner was considered to be “a turn on”, and for women, the task that mattered for better relationship satisfaction was doing the dishes.
Curious to find out just why this is, we reached out to a relationship therapist, Jacqui Manning.
“A connected couple is one that has shared goals for their life, and this can include the running of the household,” Jacqui says.
“Sharing tasks means you’re connecting and touching base over small decisions which will help with the big ones down the track.”
Not only that, but carrying out tasks as a couple can help shift the perception of them being a “chore”, and instead makes the process seem more interactive and fun.
Why washing up together is good for your relationship
Look, we’re not all that surprised to discover the positive effects sharing tasks can have on a relationship. Were we shocked, though, that the number-one chore turned out to be washing dishes? Absolutely.
Grimy plates, soggy food, caked-on grease – it doesn’t exactly scream “sexy”. But as Jacqui explains, it’s the sense of camaraderie that trumps the grossness.
“Sometimes having a common enemy is a great connector and can enhance closeness,” she says.
“When couples wash up together, the greasy, grimy dishes play the role of the enemy and thus bring two together.
“It also prevents resentment if the yuckiest chores are shared, as one partner doesn’t feel lumped with all the gross jobs.”
Why shopping together is good for your relationship
“Life isn’t about grand decisions all the time, but those small ones which involve both of your happiness and comfort are more meaningful than they might appear,” Jacqui explains.
“By embarking on shopping together you both get a say in the kinds of dishes you’ll each cook and the brands you like. It gives you both agency over a very important part of our lives: What we eat.”
With all that in mind, the positive effect of sharing such tasks can really be brought down to one thing, and it’s something many of us struggle to find in our relationships and our lives: Time.
“Time together is connecting, whether that’s on a date or doing chores together. It gives you time to be around each other and to chat about other things going on in your worlds,” Jacqui says.
Originally published as Sharing these chores will improve your relationship by Katie Skelly. Author at realestate.com.au.