Bright Side

A New Romance Is Likely to End Up Like Your Previous Relationship, Study Finds — but You Can Change the Game

When we get out of a bad relationship we usually promise ourselves that the next romance is going to be different. There’ll probably be less arguing or it’ll provide greater satisfaction. But we don’t recommend believing these rosy pictures. According to scientists, changing your significant other doesn’t necessarily mean your new relationship is going to thrive — you’re actually more likely to end up in the same spot.

Although this seems like a sad fact, Bright Side encourages you to not get the blues. We know how to change the situation and we’re going to tell you about it at the end of the article.

In research conducted at the University of Alberta, it showed that it doesn’t actually matter who your partner is. In any case, your relationship dynamic is fairly fixed. To discover the changes that happen when people move from one romance to another, scientists analyzed data received from 554 participants since 2008. They examined different relationship aspects like satisfaction or ability to open up to a partner, at 4 different time periods: a year before their first relationship ended, the final year of the first relationship, first year of the new relationship, and a year after that.

And here is what the usual dynamic looks like. When we start a new relationship, everything is wonderful. It’s a honeymoon period where we try not to involve our partners in our everyday worries and problems, like household chores. But after the glow of this period fades, we come back to the same patterns we used during previous relationships. And here is usually when we make the choice to move on from this relationship, because this romance has suddenly “gone sour” too.

The downside here is that people don’t learn from their mistakes. If they had a lot of negative emotions before, they are likely to bring them into their new relationship. Because it actually matters who you are, and your personal issues impact the success of every new romance. So, the point here is that breakups aren’t going to bring you the perfect person.

But there is also a positive side. This doesn’t mean that it’s your fate to suffer in a relationship. Now we know that most of romances look similar because of you and your personal quirks. For example, the same study confirmed that a higher level of neuroticism has a negative effect. So let’s stop hoping to have a thriving relationship without any self-cultivation.

Here are some recommendations we suggest you to start with:

  • Check to see if your expectations about your partner and relationship are realistic. For example, you can’t expect your partner to be in a great mood all the time.
  • Take responsibility for your part in the difficulties and problems. Forget the words “It’s not my problem,” — there’re always 2 truths in a relationship, and if you believe that your opinion is the only one that’s correct, your relationship is likely to fail.
  • Understand the needs and fears that are at the root of your reactions. It’ll give you a clearer picture, maybe those aspects aren’t about your partner at all, and you have to work on them at a deeper level with a therapist.
  • Don’t be afraid to communicate. Hiding emotions, feelings, and opinions is the true way to unhappiness.

Do you agree that nothing happens without first putting in work? Have you noticed that your new relationship resembles your previous one?