A study just concluded has revealed that it is the inability of people to remain true to themselves and demonstrate their beliefs through their actions that is causing many dating relationships to flounder and lose direction. If only the concerned people had acted in a transparent and honest manner, many of the relationships may not have got affected to the extent they have.
Amy Brunell who teaches psychology at the Newark campus in Ohio University was the one who spearheaded the study and she lamented the fact that people just could not follow William Shakespeare’s axiom of being true to oneself.
Brunell feels that the key to a healthy and long term relationship is this ability to be true to oneself. The spin off benefits also includes better intimacy and a more complete relationship.
This study can be seen online currently and will be available in print version very soon. The journal Personality and Individual Differences is where you can see it online.
Sixty two college couples took part in the study and they had to fill up a big list of various questions that were administered on three different occasions stretching over two weeks.
In the first set of questions, the participants were tested on their ability to be true to themselves through their answers on questions that asked them about their state of mind and whether they would accept themselves for what they are irrespective of the circumstances getting better or worse.
The second set of questions dealt with their ability to share their mental highs and lows with their partners and whether they were happy doing it or did they prefer to keep it to themselves.
The third one related to their own personal state of physical wellbeing and mental happiness as well as how they scored in managing a successful relationship.
The one fact that came out strongly was people who said that they were really transparent and open about things were also more intimate with their partners and treated them well. The relationship was a healthy one based on trust and that in turn influenced their personal wellbeing as well.
The study according to Brunell also revealed how each person in a couple got affected when the opposite partner was not forthcoming and not honest.
For example, when the men were true to their partners and to themselves, their partners were seen to be very satisfied with the relationship and it showed in the way they managed the association. Strangely, this was not evident in men whose partners showed such transparency and trueness of character.
This finding according to Brunell is a reflection of the manner in which the role of each gender has been defined in society and how they are supposed to behave with each other.
She goes on to say that it is usually the women who are likely to be in control and would play the dominant role as far as intimacy in both dating and marital associations were concerned.
This naturally paves the way for a harmonious engagement between the couple as the woman does not have to put in much effort in regulating intimacy, helped as she is by the honesty and transparency shown by her partner.
However, since men play a passive role in the regulation of such intimacy, they tend to be less affected when their partners are not true to them and are not transparent.
This study basically authenticated the findings emerging from other such surveys which revealed that whenever both partners show honesty, transparency and openness in their dealings with each other, the relationship is a healthy and satisfying one.
Brunell however cautions that being true to oneself does not imply that you must not work on your deficiencies and let things be. You must know your strengths and limitations and seek to improve upon them for a better relationship with your partner.
Both men and women need to show trust in each other and be open with each other to forge a healthy relationship and that can only happen when you can be true to yourself, according to Brunell