The Scientific Secret To A Happy Relationship Is Kind Of Depressing

Personally, I would consider the recipe to a happy relationship is the pure joy of being in eachothers’ presence resulting in the cocooned life that only revolves one another – watching HBO shows, drinking beer, eating pizza and sometimes salads, but mainly festering in eachothers’ embrace.

Though sailing into the sunset on a super yacht near Spain also sounds like a dream, these superficial ideals are not the answer.

In a study called, “What predicts romantic relationship satisfaction and mate retention intensity: mate preference fulfillment or mate value discrepancies?” Daniel Conroy-Beam says that the answer is the former: mate value discrepancy. This occurs when one thinks there is a mismatch in the value of mates between partners according to Psychology Today, “That is, one believes his or her partner is of higher or lower value than he or she is, in terms of what they have to offer.”

The abstract says, “Relationship satisfaction was not related to how well mates fulfilled their partner’s preferences. Mate value discrepancies, in contrast, interacted to predict relationship satisfaction: relationship satisfaction declined for participants whose mates were less desirable than their alternatives, but only for participants who were higher in mate value than their mates.”

“Despite what people desire in a mate, they cannot always get what they want. Mate preferences function to motivate people to pursue fitness-promoting mates. However, our ability to acquire these mates depends on numerous factors, including ideal mates existing in the local environment, ideal mates being available to mate, and ideal mates being reciprocally attracted to those who choose them. A key consequence of these multiple mating dynamics is that some people inevitably end up with mates who do not wholly satisfy their ideal mate preferences.”

“Cues to mate replaceability—specifically mate value discrepancies—appear to have important and reliable effects on relationship satisfaction. The availability of partners who better fulfill one’s preferences decreases relationship satisfaction, especially for people mated to partners lower in mate value than themselves. Mate preference fulfillment alone, despite its important role in mate selection, showed only mixed evidence of regulating affects or behaviors within relationships after their formation.”

 

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