A recent University of Alberta study just gave us a big wake-up call. Sometimes, it really is you causing those relationship pitfalls. A new romance might not be so different from your last one, according to the researchers.
The 8-year study focused on 554 people in Germany, studying their relationship patterns and behaviors. After the honeymoon phase ended in their new relationship, they went back to the same dynamics as in their previous relationship. Makes sense, seeing as we’re pretty much the same people. But this makes for some bleak prospects for us. Do we really learn nothing from our previous pitfalls and mistakes?
The lead author of the study and a U of A relationship researcher, Matthew Johnson, measured seven relationship aspects to compare them across past and present relationships. These included openness with a partner, frequency of expression of appreciation, confidence in whether the relationship would last, frequency of sex and satisfaction.
Frequency of sex and appreciation of your partner were the only two aspects that varied between past and present relationships. All other variables remained the same!
“Just starting a new partnership doesn’t mean things are going to be different. This research shows that chances are, you are going to fall into the same patterns in many aspects of the relationship. Even if things are different, they’re not guaranteed to be better,” Johnson said.
The lesson here? A new beau can’t save you from yourself. You need to continually work on improving yourself and learning from your past in order to build a brighter future.