Women who are introverted are satisfied with their marriages for longer, a study finds.
Introverts typically prefer their own company and may be seen by others as reserved — although it is not the same as shyness.
Similarly, women who are conscientious are also more satisfied with their lives after marrying.
People who are conscientious are more careful, efficient and self-disciplined — and they aim for achievement.
The study’s authors write:
“Such a result might be explained by the tendency for conscientious individuals to place more value on relationship goals and therefore conscientious individuals may strive harder to ensure success.
This result is consistent with conscientious individuals being more satisfied with their relationships.”
In contrast, extraverted men gain the most from being married in terms of life satisfaction, while introverted men gain the least.
Indeed, introverted men were less satisfied with life after getting married than those who never married.
The conclusions come from a study of 2,015 Germans who were followed over eight years.
During this time, 468 got married and their happiness was tracked.
The results showed that, on average, people’s happiness peaked near their marriage, then faded away after a year or two.
However, happiness changed over time in different ways depending on their personality.
Introverted women and extraverted men fared the best in the long-term.
Others felt the come-down within a year or two.
The drop in happiness was sharper for men, particularly for introverted men, the authors write:
“Whilst all men experience a pre-marital increase in their life satisfaction, men that are extraverted seem to experience longer-term benefits to their life satisfaction during marriage.
Introverted men, however, experience significant drops in their life satisfaction that result in them being approximately 0.20 SD [standard deviations] lower in life satisfaction than those who never marry.”
About the author
Psychologist, Jeremy Dean, PhD is the founder and author of PsyBlog. He holds a doctorate in psychology from University College London and two other advanced degrees in psychology.
He has been writing about scientific research on PsyBlog since 2004. He is also the author of the book “Making Habits, Breaking Habits” (Da Capo, 2003) and several ebooks:
- Accept Yourself: How to feel a profound sense of warmth and self-compassion
- The Anxiety Plan: 42 Strategies For Worry, Phobias, OCD and Panic
- Spark: 17 Steps That Will Boost Your Motivation For Anything
- Activate: How To Find Joy Again By Changing What You Do
The study was published in the journal Personality and Individual Differences (Boyce et al., 2016).