Thursday, April 15, 2021

How to Choose a Mate

What role does personality play in creating marital bliss? More specifically, is it your personality, your partner's personality, or the similarity between the two that really matters when it comes to being happy in your marriage? A study of over 10,000 couples from three countries provides us with some answers.

Your own personality is in fact a powerful predictor of your marital satisfaction. People who were more agreeable, conscientious, and emotionally stable reported being significantly happier with their spouse. That spouse's personality was also a reliable, though slightly less powerful, predictor of relationship satisfaction. Keep these same traits - the "Big 3" for happiness in a marriage - in mind when you are seeking Mr. or Ms. Right.

Finally, there's personality similarly - which, as it happens, doesn't seem to matter at all. The extent to which married couples matched one another on the Big Five traits had no predictive power when it came to understanding why some couples are happy together and others not. This is not to say that having similar goals or values isn't important - just that having similar personalities doesn't seem to be.

So if you are outgoing and your partner is shy, or if you are adventurous and your partner doesn't really like to try new things, it doesn't mean you can't have a satisfying marriage. Whether you are birds of a feather, or opposites that attracted, you are equally likely to live a long and happy life together.

Just try to be generally pleasant, responsible, and even-tempered, and find someone willing to do the same.


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