In America today nearly 40 percent of adults are living without a spouse or partner, a much higher rate than in the past. And while the general societal assumption has been that people are happier when they are paired off, recent research suggests the truth may be a little more complicated.

But with those meaningful caveats in mind, we offer up these photos of couples who seem be enjoying each other’s company, at least for the time being. The pictures range from those whose show an idyllic view of young romance, such as the one of a handsome couple on vacation at Lake George, to others of older couples that appear to demonstrate a well-earned comfort, such as the man and woman sitting on rocking chairs on their front porch, each caught up in their diversions while listening to a record player.

This photo set also includes some celebrity couples, for whom more of the romantic backstory is well-known. They range from the famously tempestuous pairing of Elizabeth Taylor and Richard Burton to the model of a long-lasting (77 years) public marriage, Jimmy and Rosalyn Carter.

The most forbidding couple in this photo set would be the Bergerons of the Quebec town of Saint-Fidele, who were photographed by John Phillips and featured in LIFE as part of a 1942 story on changes coming to French Canada. The story said that the Bergerons had “a true old-fashioned culture,” and described them as “thrifty but not stingy, carefree but conscientious” and, most importantly—and you can kind of tell this just by looking at them—”dead set against the manifestations of the 20th century.”

It’s possible the Bergerons gave Phillips a stern pose to let the readers of LIFE, know that they were not happy with the world. But they were united in their disdain, which can be one of the true joys of couplehood.

A young couple enjoyed a Lake George vacation in a Nina Leen photo entitled “Private Island,” 1941.

Nina Leen/Life Picture Collection/Shutterstock

Janet Leigh with actor husband Tony Curtis, who is holding daughters Kelly Lee (left) and Jamie Lee on his lap as they sit on the floor at home.

Allan Grant/LIFE Picture Collection/Shutterstock

Miami Beach, Florida, 1940.

Alfred Eisenstaedt/The LIFE Picture Collection © Meredith Corporation

Richard Burton and Elizabeth Taylor on the set of Cleopatra.

Richard Burton and Elizabeth Taylor

Paul Schutzer / (c) The LIFE Picture Collection

A couple on vacation in Cape Cod, 1946

Cornell Capa/Life Picture Collection/Shutterstock

Leonard Bernstein and his wife on the opening night of the New York Philharmonic, 1958.

Gordon Parks/Life Picture Collection/Shutterstock

Bicycle riders in Mansfield, Ohio, 1942

John Phillips/Life Picture Collection/Shutterstock

Lucille Ball and Desi Arnaz

The RKO studio lot was where Lucille Ball met Desi Arnaz, when they co-starred in the 1940 musical Too Many Girls. Here, in a rare color photo from his 1958 spread on the launch of Desilu Studios, LIFE’s Leonard McCombe catches the couple as they ponder their risky new venture.

Leonard McCombe The LIFE Picture Collection/Shutterstock

A couple listened to the gramophone, 1940.

Life Picture Collection/Shutterstock

Steve McQueen and his wife, Neile Adams, embrace in the kitchen of their Hollywood home, 1963.

John Dominis The LIFE Picture Collection/Shutterstock

French Canadian couple Mr. and Mme. Henri Bergeron, 1942.

John Phillips/Life Picture Collection/Shutterstock

Josephine Baker receiving congratulatory kiss on the nose from her husband, orchestra leader Jo Bouillon, after her show at the Strand theater during her US tour. 1951.

Josephine Baker receiving a congratulatory kiss on the nose from her husband, orchestra leader Jo Bouillon, after Baker’s show at the Strand theater during her US tour, 1951.

Alfred Eisenstaedt The LIFE Picture Collection/Shutterstock

Winter in Maine, 1942.

Bernard Hoffman/Life Picture Collection/Shutterstock

BOGART/BACALL WEDDING

Lauren Bacall fed wedding cake to her groom, Humphrey Bogart, after their marriage ceremony in Ohio, 1945.

Ed Clark The LIFE Picture Collection/Shutterstock

Couple kissing in front of the Delta Tau Delta mummy at the University of the South. Girls are told: "Kiss mummy or kiss me." 1940.

Couple kissing in front of the Delta Tau Delta mummy at the University of the South, 1940.

Alfred Eisenstaedt The LIFE Picture Collection/Shutterstock

A floating party on the Apple River in Somerset, Wisconsin in 1941.

A floating party on the Apple River in Somerset, Wisconsin in 1941.

Alfred Eisenstaedt The LIFE Picture Collection/Shutterstock

Senator John F. Kennedy and Jacqueline at their wedding reception, Newport, Rhode Island, 1953.

Lisa Larsen The LIFE Picture Collection/Shutterstock

American Soldiers in England 1944

American soldiers in England, 1944.

Ralph Morse The LIFE Picture Collection/Shutterstock

Georgia Govenor Jimmy Carter kissing his wife Rosalynn, 1971.

Jimmy Carter kissed his wife Rosalynn, 1971.

Stan Wayman The LIFE Picture Collection/Shutterstock

Drive-in movie, Chicago, September 1951.

Francis Miller/Life Picture Collection/Shutterstock

An elderly Polish couple walked hand in hand in the city of Poznan, 1963.

Paul Schutzer/Life Picture Collection/Shuttetstock

Actress Sophia Loren and husband, producer Carlo Ponti, after moving into their 50-room villa outside Rome, 1964.

Alfred Eisenstaedt/LIFE Picture Collection/Shutterstock

A couple danced at Rosie’s Cafe, 1937.

Carl Mydans/Life Picture Collection/Shutterstock

Hippie couple Randy Brook and Laurie Thruelsen hitched a ride in the back of a truck, 1971.

Vernon Merritt III/Life Picture Collection/Shutterstock

A couple walked through Luxembourg Gardens in Paris, 1963.

Alfred Eisenstaedt/Life Picture Collection/Shutterstock

Bette Davis in front of a plane with her third husband, William Grant Sherry in California, 1947.

Bette Davis in front of a plane with her third husband, William Grant Sherry, who was studying to become a pilot under the G.I. Bill.

Loomis Dean The LIFE Picture Collection/Shutterstock

Bride and groom kiss after underwater wedding.

Bob Smith and Mary Beth Sanger kiss after their underwater wedding in San Marcos, Texas, 1954.

John Dominis The LIFE Picture Collection/Shutterstock

A street scene in Yugoslavia, 1948.

Walter Sanders/Life Picture Collection/Shutterstock

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