Will a relationship with your ideal partner make you happy?
Peter Backus could not be called unduly fastidious - his portrait of the ideal girl was not replete with details: 24-34 years old, with higher education, and from London. Perhaps that's why he married three years after the publication. Backus met Rose at a meeting of friends in London; she was a friend of his acquaintances.
However, more demanding people have much less chance of meeting their love. And it's not just about details like musical preferences or the love of cats.
The main enemy of love is the very idea of romantic love, that everyone has a soul mate, the one and only person meant for him. The philosopher Alain de Botton discusses how exorbitant the demands for a partner are in people who live with such ideas.
Meeting him must be accompanied by a special, instinctive feeling that he is "the one". He must completely understand you, not try to change you, and forever rid you of loneliness. Every day with him must be happy. He must accept all your feelings and hopes, he should not have any secrets, and also, of course, you must have a complete match in sex.
If, however, there are conflicts in a relationship with a partner, loneliness does not pass, and happiness is not constant - then, according to the myth of romantic love, this is not your soul mate. That means you have to break up and keep looking for your soul mate.
Studies of family relationships confirm de Botton's view They show: the belief that a partner should be their soul mate is usually combined with less marital satisfaction. Spouses who share this view of love tend not to solve problems in the relationship, but to exacerbate them. They are more likely to end the relationship than those who do not expect their partner to be perfect.
Conflicts and disappointment are an inevitable part of love, according to psychologists. And at some point in the development of the relationship to quarrel and disappointment is common, and without exception, in all couples.
Psychologists call the beginning of a relationship the symbiosis stage - two people just met, a spark ran between them, they begin to get to know each other and see how similar they are: they love the same music, both want three children, a house in the country and a big dog.
As soon as the first crush passes, the partners begin to notice other things that distinguish them, such as annoying habits in everyday life, they quarrel and become disappointed in each other. After passing this crisis, the differentiation stage, the couple continues to develop the relationship and reaches a mature, deep attachment.
A person who believes in the idea of a soul mate finds it difficult to accept that the idyll is replaced by quarrels. At the stage of differentiation, he may decide, "That's not my soulmate"-and cut them short. But with each following partner, he will have to go through the stage of differentiation again - and if he fails to endure this moment, he will be looking for "the one" forever.
Scientific research also shows that you should not expect that the person you love will make you happy once and for all. No matter how perfect your partner is, the euphoria of meeting him or her does not last long - because of the phenomenon of hedonic adaptation. When a joyful event happens, a person's mood improves at first, but then he gets used to it, stops appreciating and noticing it - and joy decreases to its previous level.
A twenty-year study of married couples found that when people first start dating, their level of happiness rises - usually for the first two or three years before marriage. The first year of marriage is just as happy. Then the spouses gradually become less happy - until happiness returns to the level it was before they met.
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