“Soul mate” couples are often happy at first, because they have intense emotional and personal connections, said W. Bradford Wilcox, lead author of the article in the Sept. 1 issue of Social Science Research.

But their unions are at high risk for disenchantment and divorce because it’s hard to sustain such intensity in a long-term relationship, he said.

Instead, couples who have the best chance for lasting happiness are those who are strongly attentive and affectionate with each other (like soul-mate couples) but also believe that marriage is lifelong, and that they should be part of larger social and religious networks.