The Most Important Ingredient for a Happy Marriage is controlled by a Single Gene
Making a marriage or any relationship work is hard work, but what if you were told that here is a gene that could make or break the bond, becoming the deciding factor in how happy the two of you will be. Sounds rather strange, a little far-fetched or absolutely nuts.
Many would agree. Except the researchers at UC Berkeley. These hardworking individuals have uncovered a piece of the puzzle that makes up the recipe for a great relationship. And it all has to do with your emotions. Common sense? You would be correct in that assumption. Except it’s hard for a person to imagine that a single part of a gene, a single allele, can make all the difference. It’s microscopic. It’s clearly invisible to the human eye. And yet it wreaks all kinds of havoc.
A longitudinal study looking at 150 couples for 20 years brought about these results. When the particular alleles in question, known as 5-HTTLPR, are both short, a person will experience extremes. There is one allele inherited from each parent. What the extremes means are that if a person is happy, he or she is experiencing the maximum joy. However, should things go negative, the oppressive nature of this will also be felt quite keenly. Longer alleles, on the contrary, mean that the individual will be less bothered by the ups and downs of any relationship, keeping mostly stable emotions.
The article mentions that crossing these alleles does not necessary mean they are incompatible. On the other hand, a bad relationship can prove to be disastrous. If the relationship is a good one, however, it will only thrive on the added emotions. They also help women sleep better!
The best couples are those who have 2 short alleles, it seems, as well as being compatible. Two long alleles can also be great but they would lack the emotional intensity and possibly have a bland relationship, albeit comfortable. These couples along with the crossed between long and short, make up 83% of the studied, presenting the very real fact that the emotional quality of conversations bore little or no relation to their feeling of marital satisfaction, or lack thereof.
Blame your genes if this relationship does not work out. It’s most definitely an interesting excuse.