New research shows that affectionate physical contact is good for a woman's health. Curiously, sweet words didn't have the same positive effect on females, but the exact opposite was true for men. Guys can handle stress better when their partners say nice things to them, but cuddling has less impact.
"Whereas men in contrast to women show immediate benefits from verbal social support by that partner, our findings in women suggest that not social support, but rather affectionate physical partner interaction markedly contributes to lower reactivity to stressful life events," the study reports. "Research on marital counseling and therapy should focus not only on risk factors such as hostility and conflict during couple interaction, but also carefully consider touch and various forms of support as potential mediators of the known health advantages attributable to close relationships."