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Br J Soc Psychol. 2002 Dec;41(Pt 4):589-610.

Personality, attachment and sexuality related to dating relationship outcomes: contrasting three perspectives on personal attribute interaction.

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  • 1Bradley University, Peoria, IL 61625, USA. dps@bradley.edu

Abstract

Although people can bring personal attributes to their relationships that affect how satisfying and enduring those relationships are, it is more often personal attribute interaction that directly determines romantic relationship outcomes. In this study, three general perspectives on personal attribute interaction-similarity, complementarity and exchange perspectives-were contrasted empirically in their ability to predict dating relationship outcomes. Based on questionnaires completed by a sample of 44 heterosexual dating couples, feelings of relationship satisfaction were most closely associated with the interaction of socially valuable attributes, generally supporting the exchange perspective. Similarity of personal attributes was also connected with relationship satisfaction; however, this association was in the negative direction. That is, couples with dissimilar personality traits, attachment styles and sexual strategies were significantly more satisfied with their dating relationships. Complementarity of personal attributes had no link to satisfaction, but complementary couples experienced significantly higher ratings of relationship commitment, especially couples with complementary personalities. Discussion focused on the differences between personal attribute connections with romantic satisfaction and commitment and on the limitations of the present study.

PMID:
12593754
[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
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