Your list of ideal personality traits may not matter as much as you think when searching for a romantic partner.
Although individual personality traits are important for match-making, that’s not the only thing that will predict whether a relationship will be good or bad.
Characteristics of a relationship as a whole are a better predictor for the quality of a relationship.
Researchers combed through 43 different papers that studied more than 11,000 couples to figure this out.
They looked at whether individual traits like general life satisfaction or attachment styles mattered more to the quality of a relationship versus relationship traits like feelings of appreciation or sexual satisfaction.
It turns out, relationship characteristics are more important.
The findings tell us “that the person we choose is not nearly as important as the relationship we build," Samantha Joel, the study's first author and the director of the Relationships Decision Lab, tells Inverse.
Here are the five relationship-level variables that can determine the quality of a relationship.
1. Perceived partner commitment (in a phrase: "my partner wants this relationship to last forever")
2. Appreciation (feeling lucky to have your partner)
3. Sexual satisfaction
4. Perceived partner satisfaction (how happy you think the relationship makes your partner)
5. How the couple handles conflict
"It really seems that having a great relationship is less about finding the perfect partner or changing your current partner, and more about building that relationship itself,” Joel says.