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Matching Drinking Habits May Mean a Happier Marriage

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Here’s a tip for those of you looking for that special someone: Try to find somebody who drinks like you do. A survey of older adults has found that couples in which both partners drank—and those in which both abstained—reported less trouble in their marriages. The survey results were published in the Journals of Gerontology: Psychological Sciences.

Studies have suggested that couples can benefit from compatible drinking habits, but social scientist Kira Birditt noticed that most of those studies were conducted on young people and focused on positive measurements like satisfaction. Birditt, who studies relationships across adulthood, wondered how the same issues would play out in older couples in longer marriages, and what the negative effects might be.

So Birditt and her colleagues collected data from 4864 married participants in the National Institute on Aging’s Health and Retirement Study. The participants were heterosexual, between the ages of 52 and 92, and had been married an average of 33 years when the study began. Couples answered questions both in the lab and at home via mail-in questionnaires about their alcohol preferences, including whether they drank, how often they drank, and how much they had to drink. They were also asked to rate their negative feelings about their spouses: Were they too needy? Too critical? Unreliable? Irritating?

When it came to drinking habits, the results were not terribly surprising; 45 percent of all the couples were made up of two regular drinkers. Non-drinking couples made up another 29 percent. In 17 percent of couples, just the husband drank, while 8 percent reported a non-drinking husband and a drinking wife.

So just 25 percent of couples were mismatched in their drinking habits. But those people—especially the female members of those partnerships—were significantly unhappier than people married to their drinking or non-drinking buddies.

The most negative responses came from women who drank and were married to men who did not. The researchers aren’t exactly sure why female participants found these mismatches more problematic. It could be, they write, that wives are, and are expected to be, more observant about their relationships, and therefore more sensitive. It’s also possible that because our culture considers drinking to be more of a “manly” act, women who drink feel more strongly judged when their husbands abstain.

To be clear: “We’re not suggesting that people should drink more or change the way they drink,” Birditt told Reuters. “The study shows that it’s not about how much they’re drinking, it’s about whether they drink at all.”

There was one other group with unsurprisingly low scores: the 20 percent of men and 6 percent of women with drinking problems—a demographic that may be on the rise. Although we tend to associate binge drinking and other forms of alcohol abuse with youth, Birditt says problem drinking is increasing “especially among baby boomers, who seem more accepting of alcohol use.” A 2014 study in the UK found that each year, more and more people over 65 were being admitted to hospitals for alcohol-related issues.

So: Young people, if you’re reading this, now’s a good time to take stock of your drinking habits, as well as your partner’s.

Know of something you think we should cover? Email us at tips@mentalfloss.com.

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New Pop Chart Lab Poster Is a Boozy Blueprint For Making Classic Cocktails
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Pop Chart Lab's posters combine design with data, and their latest offering—a full breakdown of the ingredients in 60 classic cocktails—is no exception. From the exact ratio of gin and tonic that should go into a G & T (2 ounces and 4 ounces, respectively) to the garnishes you'll need to make a proper Tom Collins (a maraschino cherry and a lemon twist), the 3-foot-by-2-foot "Constitutions of Classic Cocktails" artwork teaches mixology basics you'd typically learn in bartending school, sans tuition fee.

In addition to mainstays like the Negroni and the Whiskey Sour, the poster also includes relatively obscure drinks (ever heard of the Golden Dawn, or the Journalist?), which you can attempt after drinking your way through your favorite concoctions. Before you know it, you'll be explaining to your friends the intricacies of why you should stir martinis instead of shaking them (sorry, James Bond), or the difference between a highball and a Collins glass. Bottoms up!

"Constitutions of Classic Cocktails" costs $37, and is currently available for pre-order. Shipping begins on Friday, October 20, 2017. (To see the poster's details up close, visit Pop Chart Lab's website and click on the diagram.)

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Attention Beer Lovers: A London Brewery Is Hiring a Professional Taste-Tester
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Beer lovers aren’t given many chances to discuss their passion for imbibing at job interviews. But a new open position at London's Meantime Brewing Company lists that expertise as one of the top qualifications. As Fortune reports, the brewery is seeking a professional beer taster to help improve its products.

The brewery’s part-time employee will “join the panel brewers as they taste, discuss, and pass opinion on a range of different beers,” according to the job listing on LinkedIn. On top of steady access to free booze three hours a week, the taster will receive a competitive salary “with beer benefits.” As the description reads: “Yes, this could just be the best job in the world.”

Meantime isn’t just considering any casual beer drinker for the role. Their ideal candidate will have a precise palate that can distinguish “chocolate malt from dark malt” and “Fuggles from Cascade hops.” They will also have an understanding of global consumer markets, a functioning knowledge of English, and an extensive beer vocabulary. The brewery is located in the London borough of Greenwich, so applicants who aren’t local should be willing to relocate.

Founded in 1999, the Meantime Brewing Company made its name on the beer scene with signature beverages like their London Lager, London Pale Ale, and Yakima Red. If you’re interested in joining the team, post 30 words on your LinkedIn profile explaining why you deserve the gig, along with any photos or videos that may help your case, with the hashtag #pickmemeantime. The company will narrow down the pool to three candidates for an in-person beer tasting before deciding their top pick. Meanwhile, you can prepare for the job by brushing up on your beer facts.

[h/t Fortune]

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