Here's Proof Having High Standards Won't Make Or Break Your Relationship

by Leigh Weingus

In a world where it seems like we're all in search of soul mates, it goes without saying our standards are pretty damn high.

Not only do we crave extreme attraction and great sex, but we want people who share similar interests and who we can stay up until 3 am talking to. On top of that, we want our partners to be supportive and caring.

That's a lot to expect, and some of you cynics out there may say it's why the divorce rate is so high or why less people are getting married at all.

But according to new research published in the Personality and Social Psychology Bulletin, high standards only get to be a problem if you don't have a strong relationship in the first place.

The study looked at 135 newly married couples living in Tennessee. At the start of the study, participants answered questions about whether or not they felt their partners were meeting their needs and standards and what those specific standards were.

Researchers then followed these couples for four years and checked in with them every six months to see how satisfied they were with their marriages.

As the marriages progressed, for couples who originally reported solid relationships and open, positive lines of communication, high standards were associated with high marital satisfaction later on.

For the rockier couples (mostly couples who originally had passive aggressive communication styles), high standards were associated with lower marital satisfaction later on.

High relationship expectations have been a hot research topic in recent months. Earlier this year, a study found being a hopeless romantic doesn't hurt your chances of finding love. In fact, it probably makes you more likely to perceive your partner as meeting your expectations.

Keep up those high standards, people.

Citations: The Science of Having Wildly High Standards for Your Relationship (New York magazine)