1, 2, 3

6 Feb
Courtesy of arif-nma.com

Courtesy of arif-nma.com

I came across this article about a new book The Science of Happily Ever After: What Really Matters in the Quest for Enduring Love by psychologist Dr. Ty Tashiro. Tashiro argues that in our search for long-lasting love we should limit our wish list to three qualities i.e., three must-have characteristics that we’d like our potential mate to possess.

Can you believe it? Just three! This paltry number greatly disturbs me. 😦  I couldn’t possibly parse down my requirements to a mere three (not that I have a laundry list). Tashiro argues that the more must-haves you have, the less likely you’ll find a partner who manifests these essentials. I totally agree with that. It’s the law of probability in effect, however, three?!? Tashiro also suggests that we eliminate physical attractiveness as one of our three demands. Again greatly disturbed. Apparently there is “no relationship between either partner’s level of physical attractiveness and either partner’s relationship satisfaction.”  Hmmm… I just don’t buy that. Physical attractiveness is important, sure it shouldn’t be top priority but it does carry some weight. On last week’s Freakonomics podcast Reasons Not to Be Ugly, economist Daniel Hamermesh argued that physical attractiveness severely affects a female’s success in the marriage market, harkening back to the claim I constantly hear that men are more visual. According to Hamermesh,

In the marriage market which is just as important, looks matter also. …. Essentially looks are traded just like everything else in a match of a husband and a wife. And the evidence is very clear on this, guys’ looks just don’t marry as much when they match up. Women’s looks matter a lot. Women’s looks are paid a higher premium in the marriage market.

Thrice disturbed (but not surprised). So there you have it ladies, I hope you’re getting your mind right for your future fugly hubby (self included). 😦  And I seriously doubt droves of men will heed Tashiro’s advice to dial back the physical attractiveness meter. When pigs fly…

Tashiro claims that the principal signifier for a lasting relationship is agreeableness i.e., someone who is “courteous, flexible, trusting, good-natured, cooperative, forgiving, soft-hearted and tolerant.” Now that makes sense, I can dig it. I look forward to reading Tashiro’s book and the science behind selecting a partner. I am a proponent of a rational, practical approach to romance.

Now what’s your list of three?

Yep – just three.


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