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The findings, part of a two-year study by the Open University, come from more than 5,000 people on how they are keeping their relationships on track.
The Enduring Love? study states: “Surprise gifts and small acts of kindness were valued highly, with ’a cup of tea’ being singled out as a significant sign of their partner’s appreciation. Bouquets of flowers and boxes of chocolates were seen as less important than the thoughtfulness behind the gesture.
“Sharing the practicalities of household chores and/or family responsibilities was viewed by mothers as something that particularly demonstrated appreciation. All participants valued the time and energy devoted to cooking.
“Saying or showing love featured for all participants. Saying ’I love you’ appeared to symbolise the closeness of the couple relationship and provide individual affirmation and reassurance.