People who make sacrifices in their relationship because they want to are more satisfied, research finds.
Those who make sacrifices because they feel pressured into it are less satisfied.
The difference could help to explain why some relationships work, and others don’t.
Sometimes couples appear to be working well together, but underneath the story is different.
Dr Heather Patrick, the study’s first author, said:
“It’s important to understand what makes positive relationships positive and what might undermine positive experiences.”
The conclusions come from a study in which 266 men and women documented their own and their partner’s pro-relationship behaviours for two weeks.
Pro-relationship behaviours are any sacrifices made out of consideration for the other person.
Partners who carried out more of these selfless behaviours because they wanted to felt closer to their mate and were more committed and more satisfied.
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The study was published in the Journal of Personality and Social Psychology (Patrick et al., 2007).