Double Date For A Stronger Relationship

Two couples toasting

Turns out a menage-a-four is a good thing indeed for a twosome.

In fact, new research indicates that your friendships could have a lot to do with the health of your own relationship. MyDaily: Dating Tips From A Woman Who Tried Every Method In The Book

Richard Slatcher, a researcher at Wayne State University, shares a lot of friends with his wife of 15 years, so he decided to look into how that actually affects couples. And we're not talking about those awkward couple-dates you go on, full of fake laughing and boring conversations that you swear you'll never do again. We're talking about actual friendships.

For the study, 60 couples who had been dating two years or more were split into two groups and paired up to have conversations. Half the couples were instructed to just make small talk, the other half were given specific, emotionally-laden topics to discuss. Three months later, none of the small talk couples had kept in touch, but 1/3 of the deep discussion couples had actually become friends. (Let this be a lesson to us all—small talk does not a friendship make.) MyDaily: Bad Breath Is A Bigger Dating Deal-Breaker Than Bad Manners, Survey Shows

The 33% of couples who made new friends in the name of science reported feeling more "excited, enthusiastic, happy and closer to their partner" when compared with all the other couples involved in the study.

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There's some reasoning that couples who have been together a while need an excuse to get "dressed up—physically and emotionally"—in front of new people, says Slatcher, and we couldn't agree more. (Even the Obamas seem to do it!)

There's a certain performance that couples put on when they're in front of new people that is reminiscent of the performance we put on to lure our partner to us in the first place. Anything that can bring back that lovin' feeling is fine by us. MyDaily: 'Spousonomics': Is Economic Theory The Key To A Happy Marriage?

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Written by Emily V. Gordon for MyDaily