10th February 2017

With love in the air as Valentine's Day fast approaches, RBH - the UK's leading independent hotel management company - has today announced the results of a nationwide survey on the key to a happy relationship.

In a Censuswide survey, which polled 1,200 people across the UK for their secrets to a successful partnership - and what irritating and disgusting habits they put up with in the name of love - the results were overwhelming on how to live happily ever after together.

A resounding 67% of UK couples felt that trust was the most important part of a relationship, showing that love really is built on trust. Throughout the UK, Yorkshire polled as the highest area (72%) where trust would make or break a relationship, closely followed by the North East.

Having a laugh together will also make sure you are set on the path to everlasting love, with over 58% of UK couples rating laughter as a key ingredient. Welsh love birds are laughing all the way to relationship bliss, coming out the highest in the UK with over 66% of those surveyed stating this as their key ingredient to happiness.

Those able to provide their undivided attention to a partner are also set to last, with just over half of UK couples polled rating listening as their top tip to being happy within a relationship at 52%. Saying those three little words 'I love you' was important for 18% of Scottish responders. Only 1% of UK people surveyed would choose expensive gifts as the key to a happy relationship.

No relationship is perfect though, and couples put up with a whole host of irritating or disgusting habits in the name of love - from partners spending too much time on their mobile, extreme snoring or taking far too long to get ready.

Unsurprisingly, not listening topped the three most irritating habits of relationships. Over 30% of UK couple have to put up with their partners ignoring what they have to say, and those who want to be heard should avoid Norwich, with over 38% of partners neglecting to listen.

They say that love is blind; however the second most irritating habit for couples throughout the UK is associated with smell, with 20% of partners having to put up with passing wind. Aberdeen lives up to its reputation as a windy city with 39% stating they have to put up with their other half breaking wind.

Coming in third and pushing relationships close to the edge are those who leave their dirty clothes on the floor, with 17% of UK couples having to put up with the mess. For those that don't enjoy picking up after their partner, Northern Ireland came out top as the worst offenders.

Marion Laird, spokesperson for The Spark, who specialise in couple and relationship counselling, said: "Relationships are one of the most important aspects of our lives so this survey is important as it reminds us to value one another.

"Most of us want a long, happy relationship with our partner but the number one reason for couples phoning our helpline and coming for counselling is lack of communication. Irritating habits are annoying but if we are in a good relationship we can cope with these."

"Relationships do make us happy but normal struggles and stresses can sometimes keep us apart and cool the passion and romance. It is important that we keep 'the spark' alive. 

"For example, a break away together helps us re connect with our partners, gives us opportuni-ty to listen to each other and make time for that laughter and fun that so many couples long for. Returning from a trip, many couples say that they feel closer than ever, are happy and more in love."

Yvonne Brennan, Group Marketing Manager for RBH, said: "With Valentine's Day approaching, hotels have always delivered an extremely romantic backdrop for couples on a first date or celebrating special wedding anniversaries so our survey was an ideal way to help unveil the most important tips for a happy relationship.

"The results were really insightful to what makes a relationship successful - whether it's something as simple as just listening to what your partner has to say, to having a laugh together. And of course, the most irritating habits made us smile - and are probably not too much of a surprise to many people!"