How many times have you heard it? “Nice guys finish last.”

Wrong. And new research points to the myth.

As a matter of fact, nice guys tend to have longer marriages with more satisfaction, according to the latest and most comprehensive study on attracting and keeping a mate.

Researchers at Michigan State University say just the opposite is true: When it comes to long-term relationship satisfaction, kindness and emotional stability are the best predictors of happiness.

Researchers studied traits and data of more than 2500 heterosexual married couples. What they found is that couples are more interested and have a priority for kindness in their partners, even more so than shared interests.

The most startling discovery is that having similar personalities had little effect on how satisfied couples were in their lives and relationships.

Instead, couples had a higher priority for asking, “Are they a nice person?”

The study dove deep into the effects of personality traits on well-being with couples married for approximately 20 years. The researchers looked at almost every way couples could be happy, making it one of the most comprehensive studies to date.

The traits that were focused on, included higher levels of extraversion, agreeableness, conscientiousness, emotional stability, and openness to experience. These traits were chosen because of their association with higher relationship satisfaction for individuals.

Even among the couples who share similar personalities, researchers found having a partner who is conscientious and nice leads to higher levels of relationship satisfaction. At the same time, having a partner who is neurotic, and, surprisingly, more extroverted, results in lower relationship satisfaction.

This research disputes countless other studies that have claimed traits like over-confidence, and extroversion is a primary indicator of attracting a mate.

The research in its entirety can be found in the “Journal of Research in Personality.”

Original Study:

This article was created by the Project Forgive Foundation, a non-religious 501c3 educational organization, committed to providing educational information that inspires intimacy in relationships and promotes positive mental health and well-being globally.