Altruism – The Reason People Stay Unhappy In Relationships

Not all relationships are always going to be so perfect and happy. In fact, a vast majority of relationships are going to have to endure their fair share of rough patches and hard times.

It’s normal. That comes with the territory of love. And whenever things do start to turn sour in a relationship, you just can’t be so quick to call it quits on everything.

It’s a lot more complicated than that. And it would always be a mistake to just simplify love in that sense. There is so much more to it than meets the eye. And if you’re still not convinced, then maybe this article is going to change your mind.

Did you even know that it’s fairly common for people to stay in relationships that make them unhappy?

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You might think that it would be really stupid for anyone to be staying in a relationship that makes them unhappy and unfulfilled. But it’s actually not something that happens too rarely.

A group of researchers from the University of Utah has claimed that a lot of people stay in broken romantic relationships out of pity or concern for their partners.

They know that their partners have developed a kind of dependence on them and have rendered them incapable of just walking away without feeling guilty or bad about it. This sensation of staying in a relationship out of guilt or concern is called altruism.

Previous research has also suggested that people who stay in unhappy relationships might also be people who are just afraid of being alone or people who are scared that they won’t find themselves in better relationships. But these are more selfish desires.

Studies suggest that altruism still tends to be the number one reason why a lot of people still stay in unhappy relationships. It turns out that empathy and kindness can be very persuasive in making someone stay in a relationship that they aren’t meant for.

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There was a recent study published in the Journal of Personality and Social Psychology and it showed that the more dependent a person thinks their partner to be, then the chances of them initiating a breakup can drop significantly.

These people are more likely to stay in unfulfilling and difficult relationships all for the sake of making sure that their partner’s needs are being met (even if that means that they need to compromise their own needs in the process).

The research was actually separated into two separate phases. The first phase of the study actually tried to track 1,348 people who were in romantic relationships over a span of 10 weeks.

And the second phase of the study looked into the lives of 500 participants who were thinking about breaking up with their partner for a span of 8 weeks. The results of the studies are indeed staggering.

Samantha Joel, the lead author of the study, has said, “When people perceived that the partner was highly committed to the relationship, they were less likely to initiate a breakup.

This is true even for people who weren’t really committed to the relationship themselves or who were personally unsatisfied with the relationship. Generally, we don’t want to hurt our partners and we care about what they want.”

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And even though Joel points out that a person’s perception of what their partner really needs in life might be a little distorted. And as a result, it may actually compromise the validity and accuracy of their research.

“It could be the person is overestimating how committed the other partner is and how painful the break up would be,” says Joel.

However, in spite of the claims of the study, dating expert Madeleine Mason Roantree says that the fear of being alone is still the most significant driving force in people choosing to stay in relationships that make them unhappy.

“Others may simply be in denial about the true colors of their partner or nature of the relationship,” says Roantree.

“Another reason may be that they believe they are a failure if they leave the relationship and think they will lose face by doing so.”

Whatever the case, there is something inherently dysfunctional about staying in a relationship that doesn’t make you happy. It is subjectively much better for partner sot just come clean about how they feel and move on with their lives.

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Relationship Rules

Relationship Rules is my ideology of love. It's a concept of emotion and oneness. Check out my book - "50 Rules of a Relationship" here.
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