Ambivalence in relationships can lead to disaster, research says

July 14, 2023 0 Comments

Researchers studied more than a thousand couples and individuals over the course of a year, using questionnaires, diaries, and observations to assess things like ambivalence, relationship satisfaction, and relationship outcomes.

Based on their findings, objective and subjective ambivalence were significantly (and negatively) related to both personal and family well-being. The same results were not found with covert-overt and covert ambivalence, which did not show a strong relationship with well-being.

“Indeed,” write the study’s authors, “the present findings suggest that it is the awareness of conflicting feelings (ie, subjective ambivalence) that is particularly associated with people reporting negative outcomes, at least in terms of relational well-being.” They add that in romantic relationships, “people may be most at risk of realizing their ambivalence, given the strong desire to perceive their partner positively and the potentially relationship- and life-altering consequences that evaluation-based actions can have” (i.e., relationship breakdown).

But when ambivalence is more subconscious (also known as implicit), the study authors explain, the impact on relationships and individual well-being is negligible.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *