When you see a completely mismatched couple, you probably think, “What does she see in him?” But chances are, she sees something in him—and new research suggests that very fact might make for a very happy couple indeed. “Seeing a less-than-ideal partner as a reflection of one’s ideals” appears to contribute to the long-term success of a marriage, the researchers write, noting that it might be a good idea to maintain “positive, even unrealistic, perceptions” of your significant other.
The study tracked 222 couples, from the day they applied for their marriage licenses, for three years, the Boston Globe reports. Respondents were asked to rate their marriage, as well as themselves and their partners in various areas including intelligence, creativity, and athletic skills. Researchers compared the self-ratings of each participant with the spouse’s ratings, and found that those who had an inflated view of their partners also rated their marriages as happier. (Read more marriage stories.)