The secret to a happy marriage is kissing 10 times a week, going on three dates a month - and saying 'I love you' on nine occasions every week, a new US survey has revealed. Researchers, who carried out a detailed study among 1,000 married Americans, also found three surprise romantic gestures and 10 deep and meaningful conversations each month are key to a harmonious relationship.
Having three shared hobbies and interests and going on two vacations a year are also among the requirements for the perfect marriage.
It also emerged many Americans believe the secret to a perfect marriage is accepting each other’s faults, trust and, importantly, being able to say sorry.
Plenty of quality time, being best friends through thick and thin, and being able to have fun together are also on the list.
A spokesman for global market researchers OnePoll.com, which commissioned the research, said:
"Anyone can get married, but it takes a lot of commitment and effort to make your marriage a perfect one.
"If you aren’t prepared to put the work in and take the rough with the smooth, you are going to struggle to find that ideal.
"Everyone wants to have a perfect marriage and it seems that the little things such as kissing and cuddling really are important.
"While they might seem insignificant, it’s the little gestures which can help couples retain their closeness and intimacy.
"If you lose this, that’s when your marriage can become stuck in a rut and lead to two unhappy or bored people."
The study, which was carried out between January 30th and February 9th polling Americans from across the country, found the perfect marriage will also see couples have sex three times a week, and enjoy around seven cuddles during that time.
Six nights spent cuddled up in front of the TV and two nights out with their own friends each month, along with two mini-vacations a year also make a successful marriage.
Even having three arguments a month was among the list of secrets.
It also emerged that more than half were friends before they actually became a couple, and waited an average of just over three years before walking down the aisle.
The study also found that Americans consider the biggest secret of a happy marriage to be simply accepting each other’s faults.
Trust, honesty, respect and just supporting each other also featured in the top five.
Other ‘secrets’ to a perfect marriage include being kind to each other, compromising and also knowing when to give your partner some space.
Regular sex and kisses, ending an argument before going to bed and sharing the household and parenting duties are also on the list.
It also emerged that 92% of Americans consider themselves to be happily married.
But of those who aren’t, almost a quarter put it down to simply growing apart from their partner, while another 17% blame financial problems.
Not having much in common, spending little time together and affairs are also among the reasons for not being happily married.
Perfect marriage is:
Saying ‘I love You’ 9 times a week
Kissing 10 times a week
7 cuddles a week
Sex 3 times a week
10 deep and meaningful conversations a MONTH
3 Dinner or a date nights a month
2 drinks together a month
3 arguments a month
3 surprise romantic gestures a month
2 nights out on their own with friends each month
Cuddle up in front of the TV together 6 times a month
2 vacations together each year
2 mini-vacations each year
3 shared hobbies and interests
Top 30 things that make up the perfect marriage
1. Accepting each other’s faults
4. Respecting each other
5. Supporting each other
6. Being able to say sorry
7. Being kind to each other
8. Saying “I love you”
9. Quality time together
10. Give and take on both sides
13. Being best friends
14. A positive outlook/personality
15. Having a sense of humour
17. Giving each other time alone
18. Sharing the household duties
19. Not criticizing each other in front of other people
20. Regular sex
21. Talking everything through
22. Shared interests
23. Being able to argue and forget about it soon after
24. Remembering anniversaries and birthdays
25. Regular kisses and cuddles/make out sessions
26. Sharing parental duties
27. Regular deep and meaningful conversations
28. Ending an argument before going to bed
29. Spontaneous romantic gestures
30. Regular vacations together