According a recent study published this month in the Journal of Social and Personal Relationships, people tend to see their significant others as more attractive than other people do. It’s part of a “positive illusion” surrounding romantic relationships, researchers say, and it may help keep those relationships stable.
Researchers at Groningen University in The Netherlands tested 70 heterosexual couples, asking them to rate photos of themselves and their significant others, then later having other couples rate the same photos. The results showed that subjects tended to rate themselves and their partners relatively higher than others rated them. What’s more, the authors of the study contend that this “positive illusion” is a good thing, pointing to other studies which reveal that people who hold these illusions are happier in their relationships, less prone to conflict, and more trusting of their partners.