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7 Interesting Facts About Marriage

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Can you hear the toll of the wedding bells?  No, not yet?  Well, trust me- it won’t be long before wedding season is in full swing and you’re finding yourself the guest at somebody’s wedding.  Maybe even your own! If you’re someone who enjoys using random little facts about thing to start conversations, here are 7 interesting facts about marriage for you to throw out at the next wedding reception you attend when you’re stuck sitting next to someone you’ve never met:

Wedding dresses weren’t always white, according to TLC. In fact, they were traditionally red, blue, purple or even black, with gold and silver stitching. It wasn’t until 1840, when Queen Victoria got married to Prince Albert in a white bridal gown, that the “chaste” color became the status quo.

Men who kiss their wives in the morning are said to live five years longer than those who don’t.

A 2006 study found that altruism (that means selfless, by the way) leads to marital bliss. Participants were asked whether they agreed with the following statements: “I’d rather suffer myself than let the one I love suffer” and “I’m willing to sacrifice my own wishes to let the one I love achieve his or hers.” The study found that 67 percent of the more altruistic participants rated their own marriages as “very happy,” while only 50 percent of the less altruistic were very happy in their marriages.

While giving a ring to your fiancé is a practice that dates back to Roman times, the first recorded occurrence of a diamond engagement ring was in 1477, when the Archduke Maximilian of Austria gave one to his fiancé, Mary of Burgundy.

If you want to know whether or not the object of your affection will be a good marriage partner, check out his or her yearbook photo. In a 2009 study, scientists ranked the intensity of people’s smiles in their college yearbook photos from 1 to 10. They found that none of the people in the top 10 percent—those with the biggest smiles—had divorced, while almost 25 percent in the bottom 10 percent had ended a marriage.

Most modern marriage proposals are from men, but women actually do a small share of the asking, too. And they have Scotland to thank for starting the trend centuries ago: In 1228, it was the first European country where women earned the right to propose marriage, a law which then spread throughout Europe.

Maybe love really is all you need…at least to stay out of trouble. According to a 2010 study, marriage reduced criminal behavior in high-risk males by 35 percent. While the study’s authors weren’t sure whether calmer men were more likely to marry or whether marriage had a calming effect, we think the married guys just didn’t want to explain those handcuffs to their wives.

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