The secret to a happy relationship is actually much simpler than you might think. Forget love at first sight and soul mates, because this theory is much more straight forward.

Plus it’s apparently easy to spot a happy relationship a mile off because of one, simple sign. A new study has shown that people who don’t post about their relationship on social media all the time are actually the happiest. So, when you start seeing couples constantly posting photos of themselves and detailing their lives on Facebook or Instagram, you know that they could be heading (or already going through) a rough patch.

So, what is the secret to a happy relationship?

Well, a new study shows that while love, trust, attraction, laughter, and compatibility may all be very important aspects to a successful partnership, it’s actually something else entirely that can make a relationship last.

secret-to-a-happy-relationship

Settling. Settling and appreciating what you have is apparently the key to a long lasting relationship.

Daniel Conroy-Beam, the author of the research, calls it the “mate value discrepancy”. It’s all about you and your other half realising that you’ve got it pretty good with each other – so why would you look elsewhere?

Mr Conroy-Beam explains:

Cues to mate replaceability—specifically mate value discrepancies—appear to have important and reliable effects on relationship satisfaction.

The availability of partners who better fulfill one’s preferences decreases relationship satisfaction, especially for people mated to partners lower in mate value than themselves.

So essentially, although you may wonder why, as you’re such a catch, you’re not happily settled down with Richard Gere or being woo’ed by a Poldark look-alike, you will actually be happier with your bloke from down the pub who orders takeaway when you can’t be bothered to cook on a Friday night and will reluctantly watch Dirty Dancing with you. Again.

So there you go.  The secret to a happy relationship? Settle for the real man and all his imperfections, rather than hold out for your dream prince or ‘the one’. Simple…right?