The American Psychological Association has found that women are happier in a relationship when their man can identify their pain or sadness. Can we all let out a collective “‘DUUUUHHHHHH”?!
The study is actually quite intricate so let me try to spell it out relatively simply. Basically, researchers asked 156 heterosexual couples in committed relationships to sit down individually and describe a situation they had with their significant other in the recent past that was especially troublesome for them. Researchers taped these statements and then played them back for the couples, who were then asked to discuss the incident with each other for 10 minutes. Those conversations were again videotaped and played for the couples. The men and women then rated their emotional flux during the conversation, and researchers then analyzed those results. Oy. Got all that? Us either. Science.
In any case, here’s the crux of the whole thing: women feel happier, more satisfied and more secure when the man in their life can pinpoint their negative feelings (i.e. sadness, frustration, anger) and when they can identify those same feelings in their man. As a woman, I think they’ve got this right. Maybe it’s some intrinsic nurturing chip we all have as females, but I’ve always felt closer to a partner when I can recognize their unhappiness and try to make them feel better. And on the flip side, it feels good when your guy can tell you’re upset without you actually having to say it. I can’t explain it, really, it just does. We’re weird.
Men, on the other hand, feel closer to their female counterpart when they can spot her happiness. Findings seemed to also show that men felt that singling out their significant other’s negative emotions was threatening to their relationship. Innnnnteresting.
Do you think these findings are accurate? What makes you feel emotionally satisfied in a relationship?