If you think your significant other is a better catch than your ex, according to a study, you might be kidding yourself.
While research has shown that we tend to idealize our current romantic partner and devalue other potential partners, a study shows that we do so to help feel better about our current choice. People are susceptible to such thinking regardless of how partners might actually stack up against each other, the researchers found after manipulating conditions in the lab.
The team, led by psychologist Glenn Geher of the State University of New York at New Paltz, found that most subjects rated their current partners more positively than they did their exes on such desirable traits as openness and agreeableness. People who were happiest in their current relationships were especially likely to show this perception gap.
"Whether or not such perceptions are valid," says Geher, "they help us sleep better at night." And, no doubt, to wake up to our partner in the morning.