There are many elements to a successful relationship – pretending to listen in bed when you've actually been engrossed in your phone for half an hour, for example.
When it comes to looks however, most of us are resigned to the fact the other sex are only looking for and happy with the best looking person available.
Not the case, according to a new study from Florida State University, which has found relationships are more likely to be successful when the woman is better looking than the man.
Researchers analysed 113 recently married couples in Texas in their late twenties. Evaluators from Southern Methodist University and Florida State University rated couples by their attractiveness (though why they were trusted as the arbiters of good looks is anyone's guess). Couples were also given a questionnaire about their desire to remain in shape and attractive.
They found that in instances where the man was less attractive he was likely to compensate with acts of kindness like presents, sexual favours or extra housework. They saw a pattern, in that this made women happier and feel more appreciated, therefore strengthening the relationship.
The study concluded, "The husbands seemed to be basically more committed, more invested in pleasing their wives when they felt that they were getting a pretty good deal"
However, when the roles were reversed and men were rated as more attractive, the results from women surveyed suggested the pressure they felt from having a hot husband made them unhappy leading to dieting and an obsession with exercising.
Commenting on the study researcher Tania Reynolds said, "The results reveal that having a physically attractive husband may have negative consequences for wives, especially if those wives are not particularly attractive. The research suggests there might be social factors playing a role in women's disordered eating."
Average men: Assemble!
From: Esquire UK