Why are some people satisfied in their relationships/ marriages, whereas others are dissatisfied?
Why are some couples happy and satisfied with life in general, whereas others are unhappy?
These days, many individuals like to do the 16 personalities test and five love language test to see if they are compatible before committing to the relationship. Some might wonder, is personality test a must do before asking your favourite person to be your boyfriend/girlfriend.
What Does the Research Say?
There are many ways to measure one’s personality. One of those ways is called the Five-Factor Model of personality. Although Five-Factor Model does not look into compatibility, it does however indicate certain personality traits one has. Researchers have found that lower neuroticism, higher agreeableness, higher conscientiousness and higher extraversion are personality traits that are associated with better relationship satisfaction. However, it is unsure if whether any causal relationship exists. As there is no way to know if low level of neuroticism leads to better relationship satisfaction or does a better relationship satisfaction leads to lower neuroticism.
Another study found that couples who are similar on agreeableness and openness contributes to their partner’s life satisfaction. Researchers also argued that values such as morality are more important than personality traits in terms of relationship satisfaction. Partners could remain together with differences in personality, but they cannot live together without similarity on values such as morality and spirituality.
Self-esteem is another factor researchers have argued to play a part in relationship satisfaction. For example, it was revealed that the individual’s initial level of self-esteem predicted the initial level of both partners’ relationship satisfactions and a change in self-esteem among each partner predicted changes in both partners’ relationship satisfaction. These findings are not dependent on gender either.
Dynamic is another factor researchers believe to be the critical part in a relationship. The idea is that similarity does not matter nearly as much as being with a person who has a type of personality that you enjoy being around. However, they also found that Perceived partner commitment, Appreciation, Sexual satisfaction, Perceived partner satisfaction, and Conflict are the top things that affects relationship satisfactions.
At the end of the day, there are so many factors that contributes to a successful relationship. However, there are things that we could do ourselves to promote a better relationship. Partners are people we love who love us back, they are the people offers us a safe haven and support when life isn’t going the way we would hope.
However, a relationship is not a remedy to a broken spirit, which can only be fixed with tenderness and grace from the inside. We have to work on ourselves. As the saying goes, “don’t look for the right person, be the person you are looking for is looking for.” Work on your self-esteem, discover yourself. Also, although who you choose is going to matter a lot (e.g. ticking the boxes), the most important thing is how you feel when spending time with that person. Learn love languages, learn to listen not just to hear. Equip yourself with the skills to nurture a successful relationship.
You like because… you love despite…
Christopher Lee is a Brisbane psychologist with a keen interest in helping teenagers and young adults with trauma, behavioural and relational issues. In addition to speaking English, Cantonese and Mandarin fluently, Christopher uses evidence-based therapy techniques such as CBT, ACT, EFT, and DBT.
To make an appointment with Christopher Lee try Online Booking. Alternatively, you can call M1 Psychology Loganholme on (07) 3067 9129 or Vision Psychology Wishart on (07) 3088 5422.
- Malouff, J. M., Thorsteinsson, E. B., Schutte, N. S., Bhullar, N., & Rooke, S. E. (2010). The Five-Factor Model of personality and relationship satisfaction of intimate partners: A meta-analysis. Journal of Research in Personality, 44(1), 124–127. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.jrp.2009.09.004
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- Erol, R. Y., & Orth, U. (2014). Development of Self-Esteem and Relationship Satisfaction in Couples: Two Longitudinal Studies. Developmental Psychology, 50(9), 2291–2303. https://doi.org/10.1037/a0037370