Relationship Satisfaction Depends on Self-Disclosure

One element weighs heavily in partnership satisfactivity.

Posted September 11, 2019 | Reregarded by Gary Drevitch

There"s no magical or global mix of ingredients required to create and sustain a successful romantic partnership. Tright here are, however, a couple of essential characteristics essential to make a romantic union occupational. One in certain appears to be particularly important: Self-disclocertain.

In the realm of psychology and relationships, self-disclocertain is a principle of the Social Penetration Theory proposed by Altman and also Taylor (1973). According to the concept, the progressive revealing of feelings and also individual experiences, in conjunction via reciprocal sharing, brings a higher understanding of each other and also an boosted sense of trust. Put ssuggest, self-disclocertain is about the willingness to be open and share individual information, ranging from positive to negative thoughts, and also details around one"s life background. Two crucial words associated through self-disclocertain are mutuality and reciprocity, which are cornerstones of emotional intimacy.

You are watching: The two key ingredients in successful self-disclosure are reciprocity and timing.

While conventional wisdom suggests that happy couples connect well and also openly share their thoughts and also feelings, research likewise supports the association between self-disclocertain and connection satisfaction. With longitudinal information collected from both partners in young adult dating couples, Sprecher and Hendrick (2004) discovered that self-disclosure was positively associated through partnership quality (satisfactivity, love, and commitment).

Why self-disclocertain is so vital in relationships

While men and also women are frequently cautious in a new connection to share too a lot personal indevelopment, 2 people that are dating are expected to take the risk of sharing personal information — including fears, anxieties and flegislations — via the knowledge that intimacy and also trust cannot prosper without such initiative.

Self-disclocertain, of course, doesn"t exist in a vacuum. The willingness to self-discshed in relationships is intricately attached to vulnerability, or the willingness to be delicate with a partner. While adults have pertained to embrace a selection of psychological defense mechanisms to protect their ego by the period of adulthood, connection success counts on recognizing and also containing those defense mechanisms. The guardedness one may employ at work, for instance, may be correct to the skilled requirements of that conmessage, yet personal, and also particularly romantic, relationships require disabling those defense mechanisms in order to foster deep interpersonal trust and also emotional commitment. Relationship success needs 2 people"s willingness to expose their true self, flegislations and also all. While it may be maladaptive for one"s boss to watch particular personal vulnerabilities, it is adaptive, and also also necessary, for one"s companion to view such vulnerabilities.

What happens in a relationship if both members of a pair aren"t willing to be breakable and also self-disclose?

Relationships frequently deteriorate or end if one or both partners withstand or refusage to share some of their the majority of personal thoughts and feelings. Men and also womales tfinish to feel emotionally shut out by a companion if that companion doesn"t discshed just how they really feel; share details about their daily personal experiences; interact around fears or anxieties; or show reciprocal listening and also reciprocal interest in asking about the other"s day-to-day life.

The problem of not feeling needed

In my clinical work, I"ve viewed exactly how human being need to feel required in order to feel purposeful and satisfied; the popularity of self-aid publications on the topic confirm what I"ve encountered. The need to feel needed especially uses to romantic relationships. Part of the difficulty via having actually a partner that doesn"t self-discshed is that one often ends up feeling unnecessary by the other perkid emotionally. Because the partner doesn"t desire to be delicate or expush fragility or negative thoughts or feelings, there"s not only not a lot to talk about; one isn"t provided through sufficient individual data to usage to emotionally support them or assist them.

What dating couples should remember

Men and also women that are dating need to take time to reflect on the level to which the brand-new perboy they"re seeing is willing to self-discshed. A person that is incredibly guarded in dating might have actually similar difficulty self-disclosing better into the partnership, and the lack of self-disclocertain might cause one, also years later, to feel lonely, isolated, or resentful.

Sprecher, S., & Hendrick, S. S. (2004). Self-Disclosure in Intimate Relationships: Associations With Individual and also Relationship Characteristics Over Time. Journal of Social and also Clinical Psychology, 23(6), 857-877.

Altguy, I., & Taylor, D. A. (1973). Social penetration: The development of interpersonal relationships. Oxford, England: Holt, Rinehart & Winston.

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About the Author


Seth Meyers, Psy.D.

See more: “ It Is Possible To Commit No Mistakes, Peak Performance (Episode)

, is a licensed clinical psychologist, TV guest professional, writer, and also connection skilled.