And then he’s drunk and never even told her that he cared


Does a new partnership differ from its preceding one? […] This study sought to understand whether a new relationship differs from the one that preceded it.

[T]he answer to that question seems to be “mostly no.” One year into a new partnership (P2T2) our sample was no different from one year prior to the breakup of their previous union (P1T1) on relationship and sexual satisfaction, perceptions of relational instability, and the frequency of conflictual and intimate exchanges. While sexual frequency and perceived admiration did improve across unions in the full sample, there was no change for either in our follow-up analysis with the subgroup of participants where relationship duration at P1T1 corresponded to P2T2.

Given stability in the majority of constructs examined in this study, why does it seem as though a new partnership is different from those in the past?

Sandwiched between these points of stability are periods of change and upheaval: one partnership deteriorates and draws to a close and the bliss of new love is discovered before disillusionment pulls individuals back to old patterns. The deterioration prior to termination may be especially salient in perpetuating the belief that new unions are different.

{ Journal of Family Psychology | Continue reading }

photo { Fred Herzog, Man With Bandage, 1968 }