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Typically, relationship studies only look at a few variables. But Joel and her team used 43 data sets that tracked partners for about a year to determine the extent to which they could predict the quality of relationships, as well as which measures best predict it.
"People’s own judgments about the relationship itself — such as how satisfied and committed they perceived their partners to be, and how appreciative they felt toward their partners — explained approximately 45% of their current satisfaction."
From there, researchers also zeroed in on other factors that had an impact on the relationship, and happiness levels. These were: perceived partner commitment, appreciation, sexual satisfaction, perceived partner satisfaction, and conflict levels.
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While personal issues and individual struggles could impact the quality of your relationship, the study found what matters most is how satisfied and secure you feel in your relationship. Those factors will see you through.
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In short, "when it comes to a satisfying relationship, the partnership you build is more important than the partner you pick," Joel told CNN, adding "it seems to me that the relationship is more than the sum of its parts."
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