There are more one-line aphorisms about making a relationship work than one could easily count - and most of them are contradictory. Does 'absence make the heart grow fonder' or is 'out of sight out of mind'? Well, it seems modern science might be a better source of old wives' tales than actual old wives.
Here are three good reasons why a couples gym membership can actually help you stay together longer, and love each other more.
A couples gym membership can improve your relationship.
Actual science (1) shows that couples asked to report on their relationship status after accomplishing some physical challenge or activity report being much more satisfied with their relationship. Other studies show that this isn't just a 'perception bug'. These couples actually become happier with each other. Who couldn't use a little of that?
This effect can even be enhanced by arriving at a fitness goal together and achieving it over the course of a long time. The combination of emotional support in achieving your goals and the physical reality of achieving them with you is extremely powerful. We can't all race to the helicopter together after fighting off dinosaurs or whatever the next summer blockbuster makes us subtly almost want, but we can certainly get a couples gym membership or sweat out a 5k run together - all the better if it takes us some training time to get there.
Couples gym memberships work better.
Having a partner with you actually makes your workouts more efficient. It even improves your actual physical performance. (2) You actually become a little stronger when your lover can see you. You actually gain a bit of endurance. You become faster. There are a lot of hormonal and psychological reasons why, but the upshot is free, all-natural, side-effect free juicing is within your grasp. Let's see them test for that at the Olympics.
A couples gym membership can make you want more sex
Doing things that make us feel a bit like we do when we are romantically aroused (anything that raises your pulse, makes you breathe heavy, break a sweat - you know, exercise) actually makes us feel more aroused if a suitable partner is present (3). Our bodies are simple beasts, really, and don't care what got them excited. Simply being excited near your partner is a big part of being excited by your partner. Sometimes I wish science was a bit more romantic…
Come to think of it, that's another good reason. Your partner's definition of 'suitable' might be more flexible than you'd like. Best be nearby.
So there you have it. Get a couples gym membership. It's not just good advice, it's good science!
(1) - Aron, Norman, Aron, & Heyman, 2000
(2) - Zajonc, 1965
(3) - Dutton & Aron, 1974