People Think About Breaking Up More When They Look Outside Their Relationship For Psychological Fulfilment

Posted on October 24, 2019

Humans have certain psychological needs which they are motivated to fulfil, such as the need for companionship, need for belonging and need for personal growth. When an individual is involved in a romantic relationship, they are likely to satisfy these needs through being with their romantic partner.

When partners fail to fulfil these needs, individuals might turn to other avenues to meet their psychological needs. However, this might have a detrimental effect on their relationship with their partner. Researchers from Syracuse University led a series of studies to investigate the need satisfaction amongst adults in romantic relationships.

The first study involved participants providing data on how many hours their partner or others outside of their relationship gave them emotional support. They were also asked to fill up a questionnaire consisting of scale which assess the relationship quality and frequency of which individuals felt that their relationship might be rocky.

Results indicated that individuals who received more emotional support from sources outside their relationship tended to rate their relationship more negatively and perceived it to be more unstable.

The other studies conducted by the researchers concluded that when individuals seek fulfilment of needs elsewhere (other than from their romantic partner), they learn that there are other options besides their significant other which can satisfy their need. This does not mean that they are seeking new romantic partners. Instead, they learn to better appreciate the fact that there may be more viable options which they can select to meet their needs, rather than remaining a less satisfying relationship.

Category(s):Ending a relationship issues

Source material from The British Psychological Society Research Digest