[Photo via Daily News]
If you’ve been reading the Daily News lately, you would know that all the speculation about love and happiness was futile, since it can be boiled down to the algebraic equation above. The article, “When she’s hot & he’s not there’s a better shot at happiness,” seems to clear up any confusion (while, by the way, leaving very little up to imagination). I was unable get my hands on an original copy of the study without actually going to a library, possibly going through some kind of inter-library loan process, etc. I’m just way too
lazy busy for that (if you’re more interested/ambitious than I, the cite is something like this: “Beyond initial attraction: Physical attractiveness in newlywed marriage,” J. of Family Psych., 2008 Feb Vol 22(1) 135-143). Anyway, to sum up the Daily News coverage, it looks like researchers studied 82 newlyweds and found that individuals in marital unions in which there is a discrepancy in attractiveness between the husband and wife (where the wife is hotter relative to the husband), are generally more content and behave “more positively” towards each other.
If you’re anything like me, you read something like that and gradually drift away to other words on the page, lazily scanning for something more … plausible. This time, my eyes didn’t have to go far before I saw the title, “Bad marriage worse for blood pressure than singledom.” Again, the title says it all, but now everything makes sense. If you’re a single female like myself, you need to marry an uglier guy … because then you’ll be in a happy (or, err, “content”) marriage … which means that you will have low blood pressure. Suddenly, I’m not so concerned about my genetic predisposition to hypertension.
So as a single girl in the city, do I buy all of this? Not entirely. Again, I didn’t read the study, but it just seems that if they’re measuring “contentment” as opposed to happiness … well, there has to be a control group for wealth in there. That’s not to say that a hotter girl couldn’t be happy with a poor, uglier guy. Indeed, she could. I just wonder who they were surveying and whether the source of contentment was really the nice uglier guy, or all the gifts/products/services he bought for his wife. Maybe this speaks more to the adage, “When the mother/wife is happy, everyone’s happy.” Or maybe it’s the security. But isn’t a little bit of insecurity exciting? Not to mention, what newlyweds aren’t content? I will leave you all to tinker with those variables. If nothing else, it’s an interesting theory to keep in mind.