Too much admiration for partner bad for romance

Last Updated 22 April 2014, 13:22 IST

To admire your partner is one thing but to regard him/her as superman or superwoman is quite another as a new study has found that putting your partner on a pedestal may harm your relationship.

To know that your partner idealises you is a good thing only up to a point, said the study.

"People who are feeling over-idealised may feel like they have more power in the relationship, so they may be less willing to put their partner first," said Jennifer Tomlinson, a psychologist at Colgate University in New York.

The researchers found that people were most satisfied with their relationship when they believed that their partner saw them as slightly better than they saw themselves.
But crossing the threshold of admiration for your partner is inviting trouble for the relationship, the study suggested.

To find out why satisfaction dropped with a greater perception of idealisation, the researchers tested a few variables.

They found that people who see themselves as over-idealised by their partners experience a threat to their sense of self, said the study.

People who feel over-idealised are also less likely to make accommodations for their relationships.

"While it may be tempting to provide effusive praise, I think it's also important to communicate understanding and validation of a person's core identity," Tomlinson told Live Science.

The study appeared in the Journal of Social and Personal Relationships.

(Published 22 April 2014, 13:22 IST)

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