Happy People Tend to Stay That Way

* “[X], were you satisfied with your life before you met [Y]?”

* “[X], were you free from depression before you met [Y]?”

* “[X], did you have a positive affect before you met [Y]?”

Researchers have found that people who answered “yes” to questions such as these are significantly more likely to report being happy in their romantic relationship. In other words, a person who is happy outside their relationship is far more likely to be happy inside their relationship, as well…

…If I had to sum up, in one sentence, the most important finding in the field of relationship science, thanks to these Big Data studies, it would be something like this (call it the First Law of Love): In the dating market, people compete ferociously for mates with qualities that do not increase one’s chances of romantic happiness.

-Seth Stephens-Davidowitz, “People Are Dating All Wrong, According to Data Science.” Wired. May 10, 2022.

The net on this is that the qualities that people tend to look for in selecting mates are not the qualities that lead to happiness. But, the argument presented here is ultimately a bad one. Just because some approach is bad, does not make its opposite good.

If I had to sum up the lesson of this article, it is that people that are happy in their lives tend to also be happy in their relationships. If you want to be happy in a relationship, perhaps the secret is to be happy outside of one and look for someone who is also happy in their lives before they met you.