When two people are in a relationship together for a substantial amount of time, it can be very easy for them to see themselves as some kind of a packaged deal. They see themselves as a single entity or a collective unit as opposed to being two separate individuals.
Of course, there will be those of us who see interdependence within a relationship to be kind of nauseating and just plain tacky. And that’s okay. We are all entitled to our opinions after all. However, recent studies have already confirmed that the couples who refer to themselves as “we” and “us” when they talk in everyday conversations are the ones who tend to be stronger, happier, and more in love than those couples who don’t.
So, if you’re a non-believer of the idea of seeing you and your S.O. as a single entity, you might want to read this article and maybe it can change your mind.
Based on the research conducted by experts from the University of California, there is a substantial difference in the dynamics of a relationship between couples who use more collective pronouns (like “we”, “our”, and “us) as opposed to the other kinds of couples who are more singular and independent.
This team of experts was led by Megan Robbins, a prominent psychologist who specializes in the field of relationship psychology. Robbins analyzed 30 different studies that involved over 5,000 subjects, half of these subjects being married. Her team of researchers decided it best to take five main factors into consideration to add structure and organization to their study. These factors are as follows:
- The length of the relationship of the couples.
- The nature of their behavior within the relationship.
- The individual mental health status of the participants.
- The physical health and fitness of the participants.
- Their ability to look after themselves on a daily basis.
What they found out is that the couples who used more inclusive and collective pronouns when talking were proven to show positive signs in all factors. And that also resulted in a much happier and healthier relationship overall. The couples who had a tendency to use these pronouns were more likely to have much stronger bonds and much more solid relationships.
Alexander Karan, a graduate student under the tutelage of Robbins, has claimed that there are profoundly holistic positives that are present in couples who use the “we-talk” method of conversing. “The benefit of analyzing many different couples in a lot of different contexts is that it establishes we-talk isn’t just positively related in one context, but that it indicates positive functioning overall,” says Karan.
The study was published in the Journal of Social and Personal Relationships and it found that the couples who had “we-talk” methods of communication tended to show positive effects in various aspects of the relationship spanning all age groups.
However, it is yet to be determined whether the happy and healthy couples are inherently more likely to use first-person plural pronouns or whether it’s the use of these pronouns that trigger the happiness in the relationship.
Robbins claims that it might be both. “Hearing yourself or a partner say these words could shift individuals’ ways of thinking to be more interdependent, which could lead to a healthier relationship,” she says.
Recently, Mattress Advisor conducted a survey that delved into how long it typically takes for people who happen to be in a relationship to become completely comfortable with each other. There were more than 1,000 people who actually took part in the study.
And what they found is that a man is more likely to feel comfortable about walking around completely naked in front of their partner after around 2.8 months – and that’s a full month less than it would take an average woman.