3Marry an Ugly, Stupid Man
It's not surprising that some studies show that the happiest and most successful relationships are between people with a huge number of similarities. Which probably explains why so many old couples thank their mutual love of racial slurs and neck-baring haircuts for their long marriages.
"Our hatred of Mexicans is what makes us strong!"
For the rest of us, everything from similar economic and religious backgrounds, to having the same friends, to both being the oldest sibling can contribute to a happy, long-term relationship. However, there seems to be two very big, very glaring exceptions. You want to hook up with someone who is both less smart and uglier than you ...
... if you are a woman. Guys, keep on trying to nail those supermodel-geophysicists. Ladies, lower your standards -- apparently it will make you much happier in the long run.
Especially you, Nobel Prize-winning hot girl!
Sure, an Angelina could snag a Brad with her looks, but studies show that the happiest relationships are the ones where the woman is noticeably more attractive than the man. And it doesn't matter if the couple is gorgeous or average looking, the woman just needs to be hotter than the man.
One study assessed the level of attractiveness of recently married couples, then quizzed them on their level of happiness with the relationship. While observing the couples discuss a marriage problem together, scientists found that more attractive husbands tended to be less happy in the marriage and less engaged in problem solving with their wives. Additionally, in relationships where the men were more attractive, the women seemed to treat them with less respect. Meanwhile, less attractive men were more attentive and positive with their wives, which resulted in better problem solving between the couples.
"Problem: You hate me. Solution: I will worship you as a God."
In other words, uglier husbands had nicer wives. Why? Researchers speculated that "attractive men have available to them more short-term mating opportunities which may make them less satisfied and less committed to maintain the marital relationship through their behavior." Soooo, hotter guys resent their ugly wives because they're horny dicks? Meanwhile, women are apparently less concerned about appearance, so the only time attractiveness matters is when their bastard husbands resent them for not being hot? Is that what you're saying, science?
Why do you hate men, science?
A different group of scientists who came up with the "ideal marriage formula" decided the wife should be a bit younger, couples should come from similar backgrounds and that the wife should be at least 27 percent smarter than her husband for maximum marriage happiness.
"Is that drool? Get your coat, my man -- you're pulled."
The reason, according to them, is that women are going to be more invested in the relationship. Back in caveman days, men were biologically pre-wired for spreading their juice around. Women, on the other hand, were more likely to put their heart, soul and brains into preserving the marriage bond, so she'd need her wits to keep her male whore husband from running off with the trollop from the cave next door.
2Lie to Yourself
There comes a point where everyone meets a couple that are so mismatched you'd think surely one of the pair is under the witchcraft influence of the other. Either the guy is a Lyle and the gal is a Julia, or the guy is a brainiac and the gal is two houses shy of Stupidtown personified. Whatever the disconnect, the romance is baffling to everyone else in the room.
For instance, this woman likes cake, and the man does not.
What you may have not realized is that the clearly superior spouse is deluding him/herself about his/her lesser half, and that self-deception is what makes them the perfect couple.
It turns out that having way too high of expectations about your significant other -- thinking they are hotter/smarter/more capable than they actually are -- is good for a relationship. Being able to literally delude yourself into seeing your boyfriend or girlfriend as the absolute perfect mate (even when they aren't) could be the secret to lifelong happiness.
"It's OK, honey -- mirrors are supposed to do that!"
In one study, scientists periodically surveyed hundreds of couples from the point where they filed for their marriage licenses until their third anniversary. Every six months they asked the respective spouses to rate themselves and their mate in areas such as intelligence, creativity and athletic ability. They found that the happiest couples were the ones whose partners just completely deluded themselves about how great their spouse was, even when he or she failed to live up to those high expectations.
"Wearing that hat while begging for money makes you look awesome."
Apparently, rose-colored lies did two things to help the marriage: First, it insulated the couple from the inevitable letdown that happens once the honeymoon love has run its course. Second, it artificially pumped up the ego of the ugly (or stupid) duckling. Which is good news all around for the couple as a whole.
Rose-tinted glasses also make everyone look like a Care Bear.
And it only makes sense, considering people who only see the worst in others end up living their lives like nagging trolls. And also explains J. Lo and Marc Anthony.