Women with low-self esteem work harder to keep a keeper

How desirable women think their partners are to others can affect how much time and effort they invest in the relationship.

This is one of the findings of a study by Dr Chris Bale of the University of Huddersfield who will present his findings at the British Psychological Society Annual Conference in Harrogate today, Wednesday 10 April 2013.

The study sought to examine how different levels of self-esteem could affect women’s behaviour towards their partners. For example women who feel less desirable than their partners may attempt to compensate for this by investing more in their relationships.

One hundred and ninety two women (aged 18 – 60 years old) completed an online survey on self-esteem and relationship behaviour. Using a series of rating scales they reported how they felt about themselves, their current partner and the things that they did to maintain their relationship.

The results indicated that women who felt more desirable than to their partners had higher levels of self-esteem and engaged in less behaviour designed to maintain and enhance their relationships. However, women with lower levels of self-esteem reported putting more effort into activities designed to prevent their partner from becoming involved with someone else.

Chris explained:  “These results represent women who feel that they have fewer desirable qualities than their partners attempting to make up for this imbalance by investing more time, effort and economic resources in their relationships.

“However the present research is preliminary and limited in that it surveyed only UK women. Further research should be conducted in a variety of cultures and it would also be interesting to see whether similar results are found in men.”

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