These 2 Questions Could Reveal If You’re With “The One”

Photographed by Winnie Au.
Ah, the dating game. So much of the fun (and frustration) comes from wondering, trying, and failing to figure out where you and your partner stand. But, two simple questions might offer some unexpected insights, reports Mic. A study published a few months ago in the International Economic Review compiled survey answers from 4,242 households (all comprised of heterosexual, married couples). Data on the respondents' divorce rates was collected through the Current Population Survey. The couples were given the survey twice, about six years apart. Researchers then looked at two happiness-related questions: 1. Even though it may be very unlikely, think for a moment about how various areas of your life might be different if you separated. How do you think your overall happiness would change? 2. How about your partner? How do you think his/her overall happiness might be different if you separated? Results showed that the way participants answered these two questions had a pretty remarkable link to divorce rates. The study's overall divorce rate was 7.3% at the second survey, but those who were unable to correctly predict how their spouse answered the questions were at 8.6%. Specifically, the increased divorce rate was seen when partners overestimated how unhappy their spouses would be if they broke up. The rate was even higher for those whose answers were off by a lot. Only about 40% of respondents were accurate in their partner's reactions — for this group, the divorce rate was 5-6%. Still, the divorce rate for the inaccurate couples was much lower than the researchers' model had predicted it would be — indicating that people actually cared about each other enough to be happy just by making their partner happy. The economists call this little thing "love." D'aww. Yes, it does seem a little bit bizarre to boil down an entire relationship to two simple questions — ones that are eerily reminiscent of The Newlywed Game. However, these two asks get at the same concepts of paying attention and being in sync with your partner that previous studies have used as a measure of confidence in relationships. And, hey, paying attention to your partner is a good thing no matter what stage you're at. There might be something behind these quick tricks after all. If you're just starting out, try these questions to get things rolling quickly.

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