by Gena Kaufman
For all the self-help books and advice columns out there (um, keeping reading my advice anyway, please!), there's one tool we all already have in our arsenal for picking a partner that will keep us happy: our gut instincts.
And according to a new study, your gut is the best indicator of whether your relationship will stay a happy one. Researchers at Florida State University studied 135 heterosexual couples who were married for less than six months and followed up with them every six months for a four-year period. What they found was interesting: How people reported feeling about their partner didn't always reflect how happy they stayed over time. But their automatic, or gut-level, responses did.
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In an experiment, people were shown a one-third-of-a-second flash of a photo of their spouse, followed by a positive or negative word, and then they were asked to indicate whether the word was positive or negative. People whose gut instincts toward their partner were truly positive were quicker to indicate that positive words were positive, but slower to assess the negative words as such. The opposite was true for those who had negative instincts about their spouse. Over time, the respondents who revealed negative gut-level attitudes about their partner reported more marital dissatisfaction.
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In conclusion, trust your gut. Even if it's feeling a little bloated post-Thanksgiving feasting! (Guilty.)
Have you ever had a gut instinct that told you to stay away from a guy? Did you listen to it or not?