Using “We” and Us” Improves Your Relationship

A recently published study in the Journal of Social and Personal Relationships found that couples who often say “we” and “us” have more successful relationships and are healthier and happier.

Using “we” and “us” (we-talk) is an indicator of interdependence and general positivity.

Interdependence means that partners are more inclusive in how they both think, feel, behave, and rely on each other for support especially in times of stress and conflict.

The study showed that we-talk brought about supportive and relationship-centered behaviors and positive perceptions of the partner. Using “we” and “us” is especially important when resolving a conflict. It’s even good when the partner is not physically present. Most importantly, though we-talk is good when one uses it, it’s even better when one’s romantic partner uses it.

The benefits of are virtually equal for both men and women.

A chicken-or-the-egg question that remains unanswered, and is the subject of upcoming research: Does we-talk make for happy couples, or do happy couples make for we-talk?

“It is likely both,” said UC Riverside psychologist lead Megan Robbins. “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 could also be the case that because the relationship is healthy and interdependent, the partners are being supportive and use we-talk.”

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