You and your partner have been dating for four months. They are totally into you, all your friends say, and it’s true you do spend a lot of time together. What’s more? They have even introduced you to their friends as their partner.
Still, you’re constantly worried the relationship is going to end. Why? Because small things really bother you. Anything – if they don’t hold your hand, change plans, don’t call for a few days, or even sleep at a regular time because the poor person is tired! You’re convinced it means they are going to dump you.
All in the mind
Your real problem is that you are always worried about breaking up with your partner – when there is no actual reason for it. These feelings are just in your mind and they are not even real. There isn’t a risk of them doing so and thinking negatively could have a real impact on your relationship.
A group of Italian researchers talked to over a hundred subjects – mostly women. The aim was to see how feeling your relationship is at risk affects romance and commitment to the partner.
The researchers made the students believe that their relationship was at a low, medium or high risk of coming to an end. Next, they asked them how often they got into minor arguments or fights with their partners.
Finally, they asked how the students felt about their partners romantically and how committed they were to the relationship.
Seriously worrying about your relationship is not a good sign. Regardless of whether your partner is actually going to break-up with you or not but if you think negative, chances are that they soon will! Also, too much worry is not good for romance!
The study found that the participants who were most worried about their relationship were totally unhappy with their partner. Now wait for the surprise find – the habit of worrying had nothing to do with how often they actually fought or argued!
Protecting yourself by pulling away
What happens when your romantic feelings towards your partner turn negative? You feel less committed to them, the study showed. In a way this makes sense.
If you’re convinced that the break-up is sure in future, you might try to protect yourself by pulling away.
If you have a good reason to worry about your partner – like you spotted some lipstick marks on his shirt, or she's avoiding you – then worrying about your relationship makes sense.
But if there is no real reason to worry, it’s not doing you any good. Be positive, think positive, think good and the good will happen to you. If you want to remain negative, the negative will happen to you.
Sciara, S. & Pantaleo, G. (2017). Relationships at risk: How the perceived risk of ending a romantic relationship influences the intensity of romantic affect and relationship commitment. Motivation and Emotion.