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Science Says Your Relationship Falls Into Four Categories + the One You Want to Avoid

Science Says Your Relationship Falls Into Four Categories + the One You Want to Avoid

Do you ever wonder why some relationships can stand the test of time while others seem doomed to fail? Well, researchers have discovered relationships fall into one of four categories: dramatic, conflict ridden, socially involved, and partner focused. Of the four categories, relationships that fit a dramatic pattern are likely to fail.

For the study, which was published in the Journal of Marriage, authors Brian G. Ogolsky, Catherine A. Surra and J. Kale Monk looked at nearly 400 heterosexual dating couples between the ages of 19 and 35. For nine months, the study authors conducted several interviews. Researchers asked participants to indicate how likely it is that they would wed. Following their responses, researchers then asked them to indicate why. Using the feedback from the interviews, the study authors identified four commitment patterns.

1.     Dramatic

 Thirty-four percent of participants fell into this category. They experienced a series of “ups and downs,” with more downturns in commitment than other groups. These couples spent more time apart, and their families and friends were less supportive of their relationship.

2.     Partner-focused

Thirty percent of participants fell into this category. This group had positive views of their partner and their relationship. They experienced less downturns. These couples tend to spend a lot of their time together vs. spending time with their separate groups of friends.

3.     Socially-involved

Nineteen percent of participants fell into this category. This group experienced fewer downturns than those in the dramatic and conflict-ridden groups. When changes occurred, it was largely due to what their friends and family thought of the relationship.

4.     Conflict-ridden

Twelve percent of participants fell into this category. Similar to the dramatic group, this group had a large number of downturns. However, the downturns didn't occur as often and weren't as pronounced as in dramatic commitments. They had fewer positive things to say about the relationship as well as less support from family and friends. These couples were more likely to stay stagnate (not progress or regress).

So, what does this mean? If you fall into the dramatic commitment, researchers believe, “Dramatic commitments appear to have a relatively turbulent progression toward commitment that is riddled with negative views of the relationship.” In laymen’s terms: more likely to end in a breakup. If you wanted to be successful in your relationship with the likelihood to wed, then your relationship should fall into the partner-focused commitment. 

Written by Nikki Shariee
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