Relationships flourish with wine and roses and a certain je ne sais quoi.
Turns out, relationship success has little to do with the individual awesomeness of you or your beloved, and even less to do with fairy-tale love potions and Puccini arias. It’s more about the partnership you build than the person you pick, Joel’s study found after delving into the lives of 11,000 couples from seven countries.
You might think something as personal as predicting relationship success would resist easy analysis. It did. That’s where artificial intelligence filled the gap, by decoding 43 different data sets and their permutations to help understand what made pairings work, or not.
The research team found that believing your partner is committed to and appreciates you, plus feeling sexually satisfied, are the biggest predictors of romantic success, accounting for half of couples’ happiness. It found only a 21 per cent correlation between relationship bliss and the partners’ personal characteristics.
Joel (@datingdecisions on Twitter) was lead author among 85 co-researchers in the study. Their new insights attracted plenty of international attention, drawing lively conversation on a Reddit AMA and media hits as diverse as CNN and marthastewart.com.
Western professor Samantha Joel, led a research team exploring predictors of relationship success, talks about the science of psychology.