It also looked at other variables, such as the length of time couples dated before popping the question. That study found that, compared to dating for less than a year, dating 1–2 years before proposing cut a couple’s risk of divorce by 20 percent. Dating three years or more slashed their divorce risk by half.
But there’s a lot to be said for disposition when it comes to relationship success. A 1995 study by Diane Felmlee at the University of California, Davis found that some of the traits that attract people to their partners at first are the same ones that cause the end of a relationship. The most common of these so-called “fatal attractions”? “Exciting” and “different.” A free spirit who goes against the grain might be great when your biggest concerns are which bars to frequent, but that quality could be something else when you’re applying for a mortgage.