A new study examined how unmarried college students associate intimacy with the stability of a relationship.
More specifically, investigators studied relational uncertainty — people’s lack of confidence in their perceptions of relationship involvement.
Researchers evaluated associations between intimacy and relational uncertainty and found that fluctuations in perceptions of relationships are meaningful aspects of non-marital romantic relationships.
Denise Haunani Solomon of Pennsylvania State University and Jennifer A. Theiss of Rutgers University administered a web-based survey to 315 unmarried college students about their relationship weekly for six weeks.
Researchers found that the level of intimacy people perceived within a relationship in any given week significantly predicted perceptions of relational uncertainty and interference from a partner.
The data revealed the highest levels of relational uncertainty when intimacy was low.
“Our results suggest that when intimacy ebbs, doubts about the relationship emerge,” the authors conclude.
“Making emerging adults aware of how romantic associations inevitably pose a threat to a person’s subjective well-being might help them to form more realistic romantic relationship goals.”
The study is published in the journal Personal Relationships.
Source: Blackwell Publishing