The Challenges of Keeping an Intimate Relationship: An Evolutionary Examination

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Abstract

Keeping an intimate relationship is challenging, and many people face difficulties in doing so. In the current research, we have attempted to identify these difficulties, within the context of an evolutionary theoretical framework. More specifically, by using a combination of qualitative research methods in a sample of 163 Greek-speaking participants, we identified 78 such difficulties. By employing maximum likelihood analysis on the scores of 1,099 Greek-speaking participants, we classified these difficulties in 12 broader factors. The most important factor was “Fading away enthusiasm,” followed by “Long work hours” and “Lack of personal time and space.” Almost 70% of the participants indicated that at least one factor, and 41% indicated that three or more factors caused them difficulties. Significant sex effects were found for most factors, indicating that men and women differed in the importance they ascribed to these difficulties. Moreover, significant age, marital status and number of children effects were found for several factors.

Original languageEnglish
JournalEvolutionary Psychology
Volume18
Issue number3
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 2020

Keywords

  • difficulties in keeping an intimate relationship
  • intimate relationships
  • keeping an intimate relationship
  • mating
  • mismatch problem

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