The secret to a happy relationship is actually rather depressing

Tinder probably isn’t helping

So what is the secret to a happy relationship with your partner? Other than these five rules for a happy relationship, obviously.

Is it swinging from the chandeliers in the throes of passion? Feeding each other oysters in bed, while finishing one another’s sentences? Sailing across the seas into sunset after sunset? Or perhaps having raging, plate smashing-fights?

Um no, it’s none of the above. The real secret to everlasting happiness is… settling.

And no, not settling down in a cute little house settling, but settling for your partner and accepting that, unless Ryan Gosling comes along and declares his undying love, you’re unlikely to find anything better.

If our mothers are reading this, well done, enjoy being smug.

In a study entitled ‘What predicts romantic relationship satisfaction and mate retention intensity: mate preference fulfillment or mate value discrepancies?’ (catchy), author Daniel Conroy-Beam said it’s all about ‘mate value discrepancy.’

‘Cues to mate replace-ability – specifically mate value discrepancies – appear to have important and reliable effects on relationship satisfaction.

‘The availability of partners who better fulfil one’s preferences decreases relationship satisfaction, especially for people mated to partners lower in mate value than themselves.’

The study also confirmed our suspicions that apps such as Tinder create too wide a pool of potential mates, and therefore make it difficult for people to apply proper ‘mate value discrepancy’.

So that’s that then people, don’t hold out for Prince Charming – he sounds a bit smarmy anyway. Settle for the reality – the guy who laughs at your rubbish jokes and whose hair looks cute in the mornings

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