There's No Settling Down Without Settling For (VIDEO)

rose colored heart glassesI know it's not easy to stay idealistic in a marriage when your husband has quirks that really tick you off. Like he leaves dirty clothes on the floor or he watches too much TV. But accepting these flaws, without criticizing them, will make it easier to keep the love alive.

Studies suggest that coming from a place of love, even slightly delusional love, is the key to staying happy in your relationship.

Forcing yourself (at times) to stay in love with the person you married isn't easy, but it will make your life easier. Researcher Sandra Murray studied 222 newlywed couples over the course of three years -- the amount of time it takes for fluttering hearts to fade into heavy lumps of questioning coal -- to conclude that your relationship will last if you stay positive and idealistic


It's not that you don't have to accept your man's got faults. Accept them. But if you harp on them and hound him to change, you keep bringing negative energy into the relationship. And not to get all woo-woo on you, but negative energy spreads. Once it goes beyond repair, it can be terminal to your relationship.

Delusional love, on the other hand, is like a yawn ... contagious! And so, if you focus on the positive aspects of your partner, it not only makes him feel good, but it makes you feel good too. 

Idealizing might take time to learn, and it's not about denying or ignoring the faults, but the more you can be a support beam for your partner, the stronger the structure of your relationship. It doesn't mean that everything is perfect, but it means you accept what you can and don't expect the unexpected.

This seems to do the trick. Months ago I was introduced to a Dan Savage piece on The Price of Admission (video has language FYI). In it he talks about how there are a few things you don't have to accept about your partner, but otherwise you have to be in a place of letting things go. He said that showing your "first-date" ideal self to your lover each and every day, even years after that first date has faded, can save your relationship.

He's obviously on to something. And like Harvey Fierstein in Torch Song Trilogy when he asks, "I just want to be loved, is that so wrong?" we can now all answer, no, it's so right! More than one researcher agrees, delusional love can save the day.

Are you willing to go delusional for a more loving relationship? 

Image via pinksherbet/Flickr

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