Looking forward to wedded bliss?
Social science might be able to help — starting with your wedding day.
Self-described "data tinkerer" Randal Olson, a computer science Ph.D. candidate at Michigan State University, took an Emory University study and turned it into a practical guide on how to relate the wedding day to the future strength of a marriage.
"What struck me about this study is that it basically laid out what makes for a stable marriage in the U.S.," Olson noted.
Here's what the study found.
1. The longer you date before getting hitched, the less likely your marriage is to end in divorce.
2. The more money you make, the less likely you are to divorce (with the biggest decrease in divorce likelihood coming for those who go from making under $25,000 annually to those who make more than $25,000 annually).
3. People who regularly attend church are less likely to divorce (but only going to church "sometimes" doesn't help a marriage last).
4. Marriages in which partners valued neither physical appearance nor wealth tended to last longer.
5. You might want a lot of people at your wedding...
"Your wedding ceremony has a huge impact on the long-term stability of your marriage," Olson wrote. "Perhaps the biggest factor is how many people attend your wedding: Couples who elope are 12.5x more likely to end up divorced than couples who get married at a wedding with 200+ people. Clearly, this shows us that having a large group of family and friends who support the marriage is critically important to long-term marital stability."
6. ...but you should also aim to be frugal.
"The more you spend on your wedding," Olson wrote, "the more likely you’ll end up divorced."
7. Going on a honeymoon makes divorce a lot less likely.
So don't feel guilty about the trip — it's for the health of your marriage!
Featured image via the Associated Press
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