Eli Finkel || How the Best Marriages Work

February 16, 2023

Today we welcome Eli Finkel. He is a professor at Northwestern University, where he has appointments in the psychology department and the Kellogg School of Management. In his role as director of Northwestern’s Relationships and Motivation Lab (RAMLAB), he has published more than 160 scientific papers and is a guest essayist for The New York Times. The Economist declared him “one of the leading lights in the realm of relationship psychology.” His latest book is called The All-Or-Nothing Marriage.

In this episode, I talked to Eli Finkel about how the best marriages work. The institution of marriage has evolved throughout the decades. People used to tie the knot for socioeconomic purposes, but nowadays we seek to fulfill our higher need for self-actualization in relationships. According to Eli, higher expectations are not necessarily bad for marriages if people can use them strategically. Eli also shares love hacks we can implement to improve our relationships with our partners. 

Website: elifinkel.com

Twitter: @EliJFinkel


  • Pleasure vs meaning in romance
  • There’s no rule for marriages
  • The pre-industrial mindset of marriage
  • Vertical integration of needs in a relationship
  • Expectations, goals, & fulfillment
  • The evolution of marriage 
  • The All or Nothing Theory of Marriage
  • Mate evaluation theory and other studies
  • The value of love hacks
  • Positive attribution bias 
  • Third-party reappraisal on conflict

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