The secret to a happy marriage is having an attractive or big-pocketed other, according to a new study.
Whether it’s a trophy wife or a wealthy husband, it turns out flaunting around your significant other is more beneficial than the physical or economic pleasures. Research conducted by Florida State University found that having an attractive wife or high-status husband makes you more satisfied in the long run.
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The study, published in Personality and Social Psychology Bulletin, sought participants over a three-year period known as “maximizers,” or people who make optimal choices during decision-making. Examples of maximizers are people who make the best choices like those who comb through all radio stations to find the perfect song or find the right deal when shopping for sales.
Over 200 couples from Texas and Florida participated in the study who were questioned on their maximizing decision-making and income and marital satisfaction. The study also took photos of each spouse during their laboratory session, which provided information on the “intimates’ physical attractiveness.”
Those tests revealed that maximizing men who had attractive wives were more satisfied at the start of their marriage compared to those who had unattractive partners. This theory was echoed for women married to a high-status husband, who was found to be more satisfied over time compared to women who married lesser.
The study also found that both male and female satisficer (people who are less specific about decisions) were satisfied despite their partners’ traits. Compared to maximizers, satisficer experience less remorse when it comes to making a decision and often are pleased with what’s in front of them, according to Psychology Today.
“We might find that maximizers take relationships slower than satisfiers,” said lead author Juliana French. “For example, maximizers might take longer to decide to be exclusive with someone, to move in together, to get married, to have children together, and so on.”
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