#2. Lie 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.
#1. Schedule Sex
If there's anything that soap operas (RIP All My Children) have taught us -- besides the fact that there's a 75 percent chance that everyone in the world has an evil twin somewhere -- it's that spontaneous sex is the true mark of a couple in love. If you're a woman and you're not grabbing your lover by the collar and thrusting him into the pantry to whet his penis whistle every now and then, you might as well divvy up the Blu-rays and call it a day.
"I'll take Die Hard and you can have the one where the woman uses sex as a weapon."
Unfortunately, this is far from the reality for most couples. There are hundreds of reasons an otherwise happy couple might find themselves going longer and longer without sex. And studies show that a good, active sex life is important for the overall happiness of a relationship. So what do you do when you are in love but just can't seem to find the right moment?
You make like a secretary and pencil it into your schedule.
Schedule sex? Like a dentist appointment or something? Are you a couple or a train station?
"Choo choo! This is the 16.49 southbound for lovin' an- wait, why are you packing your bags?"
Relationship experts recommend scheduling sex dates and sticking to them -- even if one or both of you isn't into it at first. It's a difficult concept to wrap your head around since we've been socialized to think that sex is always spontaneous. But waiting for that could mean waiting a long time. Experts know it is better for your relationship to have regular sex, and the only way that is going to happen for most people, especially parents, is to plan ahead.
"Jesus Christ! I was supposed to be sexually frustrating you two minutes ago!"
Even stranger, if you just can't get over the weirdness of planning for sex and you don't manage to do it spontaneously all that often, one study suggested it's better for your relationship if you just abstain completely. It turns out that hanky-panky doesn't just keep the romance humming, it also does a number on your hormones. Having sex at regular intervals regulates estrogen, promoting a woman's well-being and staving off depression, bone loss and heart disease. Muck that schedule up with sporadic jaunts in the sack, and lady hormones can't find their regular rhythm, resulting in mood swings and irritability.
In other words, good luck convincing your wife that her bitchiness is all because she's not getting enough sex, fellas.
Or that regular exposure to your sperm prolongs her life.
Check out why we're better at this than most published books, in Stupidity Digest: 1516 Ways to Kill The Romance. Additionally, not following this advice might make you end up like the folks in 10 Divorce Stories Too Strange to Make Up.
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