Humans go to a lot of trouble to find partners who are compatible with us in every possible way, but a new study of relationship happiness says that having a “conscientious and nice partner” matters more than the things we’re so eager to screen for. Dr. Bill Chopik of Michigan State University said the most striking finding of his study is that two people having similar personalities had almost no effect on how satisfied they felt, either with the relationship or with their lives. The bottom line seems to be that two people who are kind and decent — regardless of their personalities — should be happier together than two perfectly matched people who simply aren’t very kind to one another. Most of the criteria we use in real life for choosing partners produces unhappy relationships and miserable marriages. Maybe we ought to prioritize someone who’s going to treat us kindly and conscientiously instead.
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