Sunday, November 18, 2012

What Predicts Great Relationships?

The good folks over at conducted a meta-analysis of research investigating factors that predicted relationship success, which is measured by stability. The factors were fascinating because they weren't necessarily intuitive. Here are the factors that affected relationship success:
  • Commitment: Okay, this one is pretty obvious. The more committed each partner is to the relationship, the more stable it is. 
  • Positive Illusions: This is a measure of how we view our relationship and partner. Do we think it is going well? Interestingly, how we view the relationship and our partner is more important than the actual health of the relationship. Here's a quick test- think of a situation that didn't go well. Did you blame your partner? If so, you probably don't have a positive view of them... or your relationship.
  • Inclusion of Other in Self: This is a very simple measure. Go here. Which diagram best describes you and your partner? The greater the overlap, the greater the relationship stability.
  • Love: No matter how "love" is measured, it's a reliable predictor of relationship stability.
  • Network Support: This refers to how friends and family view your relationship. If they support the relationship, it will be more stable. If they do not, it will be more likely to end.
The authors of the meta-analysis also discussed variables that were weaker predictors, like:
  • Relationship satisfaction: Even if we're not happy, we may still stick it out.
  • Conflict: It doesn't really matter how much we fight... how we fight is more important.
  • Personality: Our personality type doesn't really matter (NOT to be confused with personality similarity, which IS important).
  • Attachment styles: How we attach ourselves to our mate isn't terribly important.
  • Self-esteem: How we think about ourselves isn't consequential for relationship success.
What do you think? Do these seem like reasonable reasons couples stay together? Leave a comment!


No comments:

Post a Comment