When you spend enough time dating someone, they’re bound to get on your nerves—whether you can’t stand the way they chew food or you’re upset they forgot to take out the trash again. But a recent study suggests there are benefits to seeing your significant other through rose-colored glasses. As this video from The Science of Us explains, people who describe their partner in the same way they would their dream guy or gal (even if the description isn’t totally true) tend to be the happiest. By fooling ourselves with positive thinking, we may encourage our partners to live up to our higher expectations.
So if you say your partner is super thoughtful, despite the fact that they occasionally forget about weekend plans, you could be helping your relationship—even if you’re lying to yourself a little. (Or maybe the researchers came to this conclusion because people just didn’t want to trash talk their partners.)
The researchers make an important caveat in their findings: You shouldn’t use this technique if you’re in an abusive or toxic relationship, but couples in healthy relationships can benefit from giving each other a little more credit than they deserve.