Couples who commute together, stay together!
That’s the gist of a new study in the Journal of Experimental Social Psychology. It asked more than 400 married couples to rate their marital satisfaction. Then, researchers compared those ratings with information about each couple’s commute to work, like the direction, distance, and duration of their commutes. The result? In general, couples who traveled to work in the same direction felt happier in their relationship, and more positive about their spouses, compared to couples who commuted in opposite directions!
Why would this happen? Psychologists say it boils down to the fact that we tend to be more attracted to people who share the same goals that we do, and we feel happier, and closer, to people who are going in the same direction, even physically. In fact, research shows that randomly paired strangers, walking in the same direction, report greater attraction to each other, than people walking in different directions! It’s why experts say having the same commute is “symbolically similar” to walking down the aisle together, to get married.
So, should you worry if you and your spouse drive to work in opposite directions? NO!
Experts say there are so many other factors that go into a happy marriage, that couples can easily overcome having conflicting commutes. For example: It could be as simple as planning more date nights with your spouse, like dinner and a movie after work. But experts say that’s one thing that couples who commute in the same direction seem to have more time to do, just so you know.