You know that small, shallow part of your brain that can get a tad judgmental at times? It’s not something to be proud of, but we all pass judgment on strangers now and again. You see a let’s call them disproportionate couple walking down the street and your initial thought is, “wow how did he score such a hot girl.” Well as it turns out, that couple is probably happier and more satisfied than most couples that appear to be better physical matches.
According to a new study in the July issue of Social Psychological and Personality Science, marriages are more satisfying for both partners when wives are thinner than their husbands. The study followed 169 newlywed couples and found that over four years, husbands were more satisfied initially and wives were more satisfied over time when the women had a lower BMI.
But lead study author Andrea Meltzer was quick to point out that it’s not about being skinny, saying, “The great take-home message from our study is that women of any size can be happy in their relationships with the right partner. It’s relative weight that matters, not absolute weight. It’s not that they have to be small.”
Couple’s therapist Susan Heitler theorizes that weight is one of many factors, along with height, money, intelligence etc. that symbolizes power for men. In terms of this study, she says, “Those signs of bigness lead to a subconscious feeling within the woman of more security and, in turn, more marital satisfaction.”
Whether you’re significant other is bigger or smaller than you, Meltzer agrees that the study should not determine who you look for in a mate, explaining, “Obviously a lot of things play into relationship satisfaction and this is just one of them… It’s not a guarantee to be happy in a relationship.”