The research, carried out by the University of California, analysed 30 studies including more than 5000 volunteers, half of whom were married.
Scientists considered five main elements:
- How long couples had been together
- The mental health of participants
- Behaviour within relationships
- Physical health
- How couples took care of themselves
By investigating the link between the health of relationships and first-person plural pronouns ( 'we', 'our' and 'us'), researchers concluded that couples who spoke as a unit were in happier relationships.
“The benefit of analysing many different couples in a lot of different contexts is that it establishes we-talk isn’t just positively related in one context, but that it indicates positive functioning overall,” says Alexander Karan, a member of psychologist Meg Robbins' team.
“Hearing yourself or a partner say these words could shift individuals’ ways of thinking to be more interdependent, which could lead to a healthier relationship.”
However, it's unclear whether using these pronouns can make a couple happier.