Surprise, surprise: Regular physical intimacy appears to reduce stress and boost well-being.One study, published in 2009 in the Journal of Sexual Medicine, found that people who frequently had sex were healthier mentally and more likely to report greater satisfaction with their relationship and life overall. And your partner's behavior outside the bedroom can just as easily send stress levels soaring in the opposite direction.

dating relationship rule-42

A big exception to that rule, of course, is if your bedmate keeps you up at night—by snoring, for instance, or by tossing and turning.

In a 2005 poll, people were more likely to experience daytime fatigue and fitful sleep themselves if their partner was struggling with insomnia.

In a 2004 study of 38 couples, University of North Carolina researchers found that both men and women had higher blood levels of oxytocin—a hormone believed to ease stress and improve mood—after hugging.

The women also had lower blood pressure post-hug, and lower levels of the stress hormone cortisol.

You and your matches can be as naughty as you want: chat, email, webcam, making sex friends or hooking up and getting laid right away for a fast fling.

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But Troiani has seen the opposite happen quite often, as well: "A happy couple can motivate each other to stay healthy—they'll go to the gym together, set goals, and feel responsible for each other." When couples do pack on the pounds, she adds, it may be a symptom of conflict, not slacking off.

"Dissatisfaction in the relationship can lead to passive-aggressive eating behaviors and sleep problems, which will lead to weight gain," she says.

In a 2010 World Health Organization study of 35,000 people in 15 countries, those who were married—happily or otherwise (the study didn't specify)—were less likely to develop anxiety and other mental disorders.