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Relationship Expectations and Relationship Quality

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Abstract

This article reviews research that examines the effects of relationship expectations on interpersonal relationships. Most of the published research suggests that positive relationship expectations are associated with better interpersonal functioning, as indicated by greater relationship persistence, more positive relationship evaluations and motivations, more prorelationship behavior, more forgiveness, and reduced contempt. Research on related constructs, such as relationship efficacy, implicit theories, trust, and insecurity dispositions, suggests a similar conclusion. However, there is some evidence that positive relationship expectations may sometimes have negative effects on healthy relationship functioning. A model of the multiple pathways through which relationship expectations may promote and threaten relationship quality is described, and several directions for future research are suggested.
... This finding may be counterintuitive; however, it is possible that no severe sexual incompatibilities occurred in a relationship, that is, individuals may be generally satisfied with their relationship. That is, the effects of sexual destiny beliefs on sex and relationships are sensitive to the sexual compatibility between couples (Maxwell et al., 2017) and, when no relationship difficulties occur, destiny beliefs in relationships may not demonstrate problematic effects (Lemay Jr. & Venaglia, 2016). Furthermore, as we found in the construct study, some descriptions of sexual destiny beliefs (e.g., a passionate sex life is a sign that two partners are meant to be) overlap with yuan (e.g., potential relationship partners are either compatible or not) to some extent and, if one believes that two people have yuan (有缘), they may consider their relationship to be good (Chang & Holt, 1991). ...
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The current research examined the relationships between sexual implicit (destiny and growth) beliefs and yuan beliefs. This research also examined the association between sexual implicit beliefs and sexual communication satisfaction through the mediating role of sexual communal motives and motivation to express emotional value for a partner during sex. Results showed that sexual destiny and growth beliefs were positively related to yuan beliefs. Sexual destiny and growth beliefs were also associated with sexual communication satisfaction through the mediating effects of sexual communal motives and the motivation to express emotional value for a partner during sex. Specifically, high levels of sexual destiny and growth beliefs were associated with high levels of motivation to fulfill a partner’s sexual needs and high levels of inclination to emphasize/express emotional value for a partner during sex; these were also associated with high levels of sexual communication satisfaction. The findings suggest that sexual implicit beliefs may overlap with yuan beliefs, and sexual implicit beliefs and approach sexual motives are important for sexual communication in romantic relationships.
... This ranges from the most inspirational virtue or good habit, the deepest interpersonal affection and to the simplest pleasure [3]. It is obvious to note that in this relationship, both partners must trust each other [6]. Mutual respect is paramount. ...
Chapter
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... While any interpretation of this distinctive finding is merely speculative, it may be that after accounting for joint couple centrality within the model, unique individual variance may be attributed to extreme or unrealistic views of marriage and, by extension, one's spouse. Some research has suggested that idealizing one's spouse or holding extremely romanticized views of relationships may undermine healthy relationship development (see Lemay & Venaglia, 2016 for a review). Perhaps some spouses hold marriage to be so central to their lives, their partners cannot possibly live up to their lofty expectations. ...
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Relationship maintenance encompasses a wide range of activities that partners use to preserve their relationships. Despite the importance of these efforts, considerably more empirical focus has been devoted to starting (i.e. initiation) and ending (i.e. dissolution) relationships than on maintaining them. In this volume, internationally renowned scholars from a variety of disciplines describe diverse sets of relationship maintenance efforts in order to show why some relationships endure, whereas others falter. By focusing on 'what to do' rather than 'what not to do' in relationships, this book paints a more comprehensive picture of the forms, functions, and contexts of relationship maintenance. It is essential reading for scholars and students in psychology, communication, human development and family science, sociology, and couple/marriage and family therapy.
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