We’ve seen it in hundreds of romantic comedies; the idea that everyone has a soul mate out there, they just need to find it. Well, there’s a reason why we see these things in movies and on TV…because they’re fiction.

New research done at the University of Toronto suggests the concept of soul mates could actually make people less satisfied in their relationship.

The study looked at 73 couples who had been together for at least six months. They were split into groups to take a quiz – one group given phrases that alluded to “soul mates,” while the other was given phrases to evoke a life’s journey. After the quiz both sides were asked to write two good memories and two bad memories they had with their partner, and were then asked to rate their relationship.

Well, the study found that people in the “soul mates” group seemed to be unhappier in their relationship than those in the life journey group. The science suggests that believing in soul mates could be bad for you because it would likely have you put less effort into your relationship, because if it’s not working you just feel that they’re not your soul mate and you move on. On the other hand, if you believe a relationship can grow over time,  you tend to want to work it. Of course not everything can be fixed, so believing you can work on a relationship may cause you to waste time on one that’s just wrong for you.  We’ve all certainly been there.

So what works? Another study by Purdue University suggest that thinking of your partner as your best friend is the way to go. Couples who are friends tend to grow together and be more committed to each other.