Doing chores is not fun. Even if you’re able to do something else productive — like practice mindfulness with a meditation app while you wait for your laundry or keep in touch with your besties over the phone while you’re Swiffering — you’re still stuck cleaning when you’d rather be doing something else. If you and your S.O. have decided to move in together, you probably already divide up some of your household duties. But it may be time to take another look at who does what. A new study out of Cornell University confirms what we already knew: Relationships are better when things are equal, including housework.
Previous studies relying on data from the ’80s and ’90s on how chores affected romantic relationships played into some seriously outdated gender roles, where women were responsible for all cleaning and organizing. These older findings stated that conforming to traditional masculine and feminine roles when it came to household duties led couples to have more intimate relationships, regardless of whether they consciously agreed with these gender-specific roles. Needless to say, this area of research was in need of a major update.
In this new study, which used more recent data from 2006, the results were completely different. Study author Sharon Sassler, PhD. found that couples who shared housework equally reported getting it on in the bedroom significantly more often than couples where one partner did 65 percent or more of the work. Sassler notes that couples report having more and higher quality sex when they’re satisfied with their relationships. And women are not cool with doing a majority of the housework anymore. Simple enough.
“In today’s social climate, relationship quality and stability are generally highest when couples divide up the labor in a way they see as equitable or fair,” she says. “It makes sense that both people in a relationship would want to feel like they’re truly in a partnership in everything, including their housework load.”
If you’re wondering how to put this into action, carve out some time to sit down with your boo and discuss. It’s helpful to map out exactly who will do what and when each of you will be responsible for your chores. Maybe you LOVE cleaning the fridge and they’d rather fold laundry while catching up on GoT. Just make sure you express those preferences and come up with a plan that works for both of you. The point is, if you work together to fairly split all the chores that needs to happen, your relationship (and sexy-time) will be better for it. Seems like a no-brainer to us.
Do your and your S.O. split housework evenly? Tell us why @BritandCo!
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