By Ariane Marder, Glamour magazine
A new study reveals that women's happiness in relationships depends on whether their partners can figure out when they are sad. On the flip side, men are happy when their women are happy. Is anyone else's head exploding?
According to Science Daily, researchers videotaped 156 heterosexual couples and asked each person to describe an incident that was particularly distressing to him or her. Then, participants had to rate their emotional response, as well as fill out a questionnaire and report how they felt about their partner's ability to be empathetic.
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The takeaway, however ironic as it may seem, is that women tend to be more content in a relationship when they are able to identify their partner's sadness than when they see how happy they are. The results also shows that women are happier when their male partners knew they were upset, but men are not! Could it be that men aren't as comfortable with negative emotions as women?
Here's how the study's lead author, Shiri Cohen, Ph.D., of Harvard Medical School explains it: "It could be that for women, seeing that their male partner is upset reflects some degree of the man's investment and emotional engagement in the relationship, even during difficult times. This is consistent with what is known about the dissatisfaction women often experience when their male partner becomes emotionally withdrawn and disengaged in response to conflict."
For me, feeling satisfied in a relationship doesn't necessarily tie to my boyfriend knowing I'm upset, it has to do with him knowing why I'm upset and understanding where I'm coming from. Isn't that what real empathy is?
Do you feel closer to your guy when he knows you are upset about something? Do you think he's happiest when you are? Does it bum you out that he may not feel the same way you do about negative emotions, or do you not agree with the study?
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