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Women with Low Self-Esteem Put More Into their Relationships

Update Date: Apr 10, 2013 05:31 AM EDT
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Women with low self-esteem will invest more time and effort into their relationships than their more confident counterparts, according to a new study.

Researcher Dr. Chris Bale of the University of Huddersfield in UK and his team wanted to see how different levels of self-esteem could affect women's behavior towards their partners.  For instance, researchers predicted that women who feel less desirable than their partners might attempt to compensate for this by investing more in their relationships.

Bale and his colleagues had 192 women between the aged 18 and 60 complete an online survey on self-esteem and relationship behavior. Women in the study reported how they felt about themselves, their current partner and the things they do to maintain their relationships.

The findings presented at the British Psychological Society Annual Conference in Harrogate April 10 revealed how desirable women think their partners are to others can affect how much time and effort they invest in their relationship.

Researchers found that women who felt more desirable than their partners had higher levels of self-esteem and engaged in less behavior designed to maintain and enhance their relationships. However, women with lower levels of self-esteem put more effort into activities designed to prevent their partners from straying or becoming involved with someone else.

"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," Bale explained in a news release.

"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," he added.

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