The Link Between Your Relationship Status & How Much You Drink

Photographed by Pheobe Chuason
Married or cohabitating couples are likelier than their single friends to say "I don't" when it comes to frequent and heavy drinking, according to a new study published in the Journal of Family Psychology. But even if romance hits the skids, we're still inclined to hit the bottle less often post-breakup.

Previous research had already established a reliable correlation between long-term relationships and a drop in boozing. But this study is the closest we've come to identifying coupling up as the causational culprit behind the pattern, rather than other variables, such as people's predispositions to abstain, limited budgets or lack of time.

"It seems that intimate relationships may provide a real benefit in terms of drinking behavior, maybe through mechanisms such as a monitoring effect that partners have on each other," lead study author Diana Dinescu said in a press release published on Science Daily.

In other words, couples may subconsciously keep each other's wine consumption in check. Not to mention, time previously spent going to bars in the hopes of hooking up likely gets swapped out for less intoxicating activities.

Dinescu, who's studying clinical psychology at UVA, along with colleagues at the University of Southern California and Washington State University, combed through the Washington State Twin Registry to compare twins' relationship statuses and their self-reported drinking habits. Investigating twins instead of random, unrelated people eliminated any genetic explanations for post-marital alcohol adjustments.

In doing so, Dinescu and her team found twins married or living with a significant other consistently drank less and less often than their respective single, divorced, or widowed twins. Cohabitating folks drank less than their married counterparts, but more than singles, although cohabitating and married women tended to share identical drinking habits.

Aside from the health benefits of cutting back on cocktails, this finding also bodes well for couples' budgets. Though settling down is stereotyped as more boring, it might leave us with more cash on hand to have a good time.
Advertisement

More from Sex & Relationships

Aside from encountering creeps and starting conversations that just don't go anywhere, one major problem online daters face is catfishing. According to a...
A version of this story originally appeared on Shape. When it comes to female pleasure, there's enough misinformation out there to fill a book. One of ...
This article was originally published on December 18, 2015. According to stereotypes, men are the sexually voracious cheaters and women are the ...
Amber Rose doesn't do "off days." "I always feel confident," she tells us. "I never allow myself to not feel confident. I wake up and say, I’m going out ...
We're great fans of accessorizing in the bedroom. Au naturel stimulation is wonderful, but sex toys can do things that people just can't. The sex toy ...
Even as the sex toy market continues to expand, there remain a few vital "firsts" for the industry to tackle. This week, with the arrival of the Buck-Off...
The Halloween-costume-planning frenzy is officially in full swing, and we still have so many questions. Is our costume idea clever without being obscure? ...
(Paid Content) You don't need a degree in common sense to know getting involved with a coworker is a bad idea. Yet, we probably all know someone who has, ...
This article was originally published on April 2, 2015 and has been updated throughout. Lube is a little like masturbation. It's a big part of most people...
It would be an understatement to say that a lot of us love superhero blockbusters. Luckily, there's really no shortage of them, but should you ever need ...
The following is an excerpt from Asa Akira's recently released memoir Dirty Thirty. Another year of wasted eggs because I chose to whore instead. “Do ...
In the best-case scenario, you go on a first date with someone, and you hit it off. The chemistry is off the charts, and you're never at a loss for what to...
Even if you think you’re not kinky, there’s a chance your brain might be. And when it comes to getting turned on and orgasming, our brains deserve more ...
Lord Ivar Mountbatten, a cousin of Queen Elizabeth's, became the first out member of the British Royal Family when he came out as bisexual last week. In ...