Study: Optimists make better partners
The sexy side of looking on the bright side.
If your hubby’s got his head in the clouds, it may be a good sign for your marriage. A new study in the Journal of Research in Personality finds that, no matter which side of the glass you buy into, having an optimistic partner leads to a more satisfying marriage for both of you. Let’s raise a glass to that!
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Researchers surveyed the levels of optimism, pessimism and marital satisfaction of 301 married people and their spouses. Unsurprisingly, they found that positive thinkers tended to be happier with their relationships over time than the more negative bunch. The clincher? People with optimistic spouses reported happier relationships as well — regardless of their own life outlooks.
Optimism in just one person becomes a two-way relationship-booster because of the adaptive form of coping these bright-side thinkers use when they face difficulties, says Timothy Smith, PhD, lead study author and a professor in clinical psychology at the University of Utah.
“They’re more likely to thoughtfully reprioritize and reconfigure their goals when they encounter some difficulties,” Dr. Smith says. “Optimists are not minimizers and deniers. They’re actually able to be a little more frank and realistic.”
These traits allow optimists to handle and fix problems within a relationship much more effectively, which contributes to a healthy, fight-proof marriage, Dr. Smith explains. Optimists don’t just think life is better — they make life better.
More from Prevention: 6 Weird Things That Make You Happy
But another important implication of this study is that it’s OK to be a pessimist — as long as you and your partner can find a happy balance of positivity in your marriage. The next time your relationship hits some turbulence, don’t focus on all the things that are going wrong; instead, think like an optimist and say to yourself: What are all the things that I can make right?
Photo: Mint Images - Tim Robbins/Getty Images
A pessimist curses the wind
An optimist believes it will change
A realist adjusts the sails
love: friendships, dating, sex & marriage
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