How To Make Marriage Last: Secrets Revealed- Research.

Bees have the honey and the sting,
the pain is real but the honey sweeter,
finding love promises bliss and peace,
but many find disappointments and frustrations after the altar.

So, how can you enjoy a long lasting relationship with the love of your life?

“Everyone asks how
you got married.
Nobody asks how you
stayed married. Time
to find out the answer
to that often-ignored
second question…

You want to find the
perfect person. You
ask, “Do they like the
music I like? Do they
enjoy the same
movies I do?” Um,
let’s stop right there…
Because the research
shows similarity
doesn’t matter.
From A Book About

Another recent
paper summarized
the results of 313
separate studies,
concluding that the
similarity of
personality and
as, the scientists
say, “matching
people who prefer
Judd Apatow’s
movies to Woody
Allen’s with people
who feel the same
way”— had no
effect on relationship well- being.

Meanwhile, a 2010 study of twenty-three
thousand married
couples found that
the similarity of
spouses accounted
for less than 0.5
percent of spousal
satisfaction. In
short, what we
think we want in a
who is just like us
and likes all the
same things—and
what we want in
real life are

Ruling someone out
because they love
Coldplay and don’t
appreciate the subtle
genius of Radiohead
is a bad idea.
And all the online
dating websites with
their fancy algorithms
fail because they’re
based on the idea
that similarity rules.
Here’s Jonah:

Most online dating
websites are
focused on finding
you a similar partner. But when you look at meta-analyses of
thousands and
thousands of
couples you find
that similarity is
insignificant. It’s
less than 1% of the
variation in overall
marital satisfaction.

Researcher Eli
Finkel argues that
the algorithms
they use are really
no better than random chance
because the idea that the person we should be seeking out is our
doppelganger ends
up leading us astray.

Looking for similarity
is founded on the
belief that if you
share things in
common, you won’t
have problems. But
over the course of a
lifetime, every couple
has problems.
So the only type of
similarity that matters
for relationships that
last is in an area that
researchers call

What’s that mean?

It means how you feel
about feelings. You
want someone who
handles emotions the
same way you do.
Here’s Jonah:
John Gottman at the University of Washington has
amassed a persuasive body of evidence that
meta-emotions are
the real signal
variable in terms of
predicting whether
or not a marriage
will last. Do you
believe you should
express anger? Or
do you believe in
holding it in and
waiting for it to
fizzle out? Do you
think happiness
should be shared
but anger should
be suppressed?
Sharing your meta-
emotional style
gives you a common emotional template, a
common language.

With long-term
relationships you
should be less
concerned with
characteristics that
reduce the likelihood
of conflict and pay
more attention to
finding someone who
has a similar style of
dealing with conflict.
Because there is
always going to be
some. It’s like aging. You can’t avoid it. So
smart people don’t
ask, “How can I live
forever?” They ask,
“What’s the best way
to handle it?”


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