Relational Return on Investment

In All, Dating/Marriage by Ty Tashiro

When I give talks about The Science of Happily Ever After, I like to use this animated chart in my slides. The chart provides a few examples of desirable partner traits, but also shows that not all traits are created equal. Some traits are predictive of lower relationship quality, whereas others boost your odds of finding a happily ever after.

For example, choosing a partner who is Emotionally Stable has a positive influence on satisfaction and stability, whereas physical attractiveness (Good Looks) has little influence on your long-term happiness and relationship stability. I think it’s helpful to see how various traits stack up and which traits really matter in the long-run.

A few notes. I only animated five of the bubbles to keep the information manageable during a presentation. Also, the Novelty Seeking bubble reflects a negative association. In other words, partners with high levels of Novelty Seeking are less likely to provide satisfying and stable relationships.