Interestingly for women, joy and satisfaction are intimately bound up in both their romantic relations and close friendships. On the contrary, men keep a greater distance from both of their closest relationships, according to researchers from the University of Oxford
“Our research shows that successful relationships are much more essential to women’s well-being than men”
“Men seem to keep their relationships at arm’s length with one eye on the dating market. It seems that regardless of our culture of monogamy and commitment the biological imperative still operates, to a greater or lesser degree, for men. The war of the sexes is still alive and kicking within our relationships,” said study author Anna Machin, Ph.D.
In the online study, 341 people answered questions regarding management, role and value of their best friend and romantic partnerships. Maintenance of their romantic partnerships as a team effort, involving equal input from both partners, with similar or shared goals and beliefs were the measures of success for women. For women the quality of both her best friendships and romantic partnerships were important for their happiness. However, it was found that men keep a distance from both of their closest relationships. Their responses showed that consider themselves as though they were members of the dating market even if they were in a committed relationship.
Both men and women reported emotional extremes within their romantic partnerships, the effects of which appear to be buffered by their relationship with their best friend. For both sexes, a strong friendship was an important source of comfort, stability and understanding — a place of refuge from the sometimes choppy waters of the romantic relationship. These findings were presented at the British Psychological Society Annual Conference in Harrogate, England.
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