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Closeness Isn't Always Key to Romantic Bliss
Date:2/14/2013

e effects occurred only when the participants didn't achieve the level of closeness they wanted in their relationships.

Over the course of the study, relationship quality improved for participants whose level of relationship intimacy changed to more closely match their expectations. In these cases, the participants' mental health also improved, the study found. Meanwhile, when the desired level of closeness was not achieved, couples were more likely to be unhappy and break up.

The study's authors believe differences in the amount of closeness desired in a relationship should play a role in psychotherapy for both individuals and couples.

"It's best not to make too many assumptions about what constitutes a healthy relationship," noted Frost. "Rather, we need to hear from people about how close they are in their relationships and how that compares to how close they'd ideally like to be."

The study was published online Feb. 13 and in the April issue of the Personality and Social Psychology Bulletin.

More information

The American Psychological Association has more insight on emotional health.

-- Mary Elizabeth Dallas

SOURCE: Columbia University, news release, Feb. 13, 2013


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