By Shana Lebowitz

IKEA’s “Life at Home” report is full of fascinating tidbits about the way people spend their mornings.

In 2015, thousands of adults in eight major cities around the world — Berlin, London, Moscow, Mumbai, New York, Paris, Shanghai, and Stockholm — described the first few hours of their day.

For example: In Stockholm, 61% of people wake up before 7 a.m. In Berlin, 56% of people who eat breakfast with others talk about their dreams from the night before.

But perhaps the most intriguing finding from the report is this: While most people surveyed say it’s important to hug or kiss their partner in the morning, far fewer people report showing this kind of physical affection before heading out the door.

The gap between the two groups is widest in Shanghai, where 82% say it’s important to give their partner a hug or a kiss in the morning, but just 25% do. The gap narrows in London, where 85% say physical affection is important and 56% show it.

Here’s why these urban dwellers might be making a mistake: When it comes to romantic relationships, at least among college students, physical affection is related to greater relationship satisfaction.

Interestingly, one study (of college students and other adults) found that a person’s satisfaction with the kind of physical affection they receive from their partner — like how often they hug and kiss and not just whether they do — strongly predicts how much they love their partner.

There’s no need to force a tight-lipped kiss or stiff-armed hug if you’re not feeling it. But if you are feeling it and simply think the embrace can wait until this evening, when you’re less rushed or more awake, consider delaying your departure by 10 seconds and reminding your partner how much you care about them.

Originally published at

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