Clingy girlfriends shoo suitors away!

The Asian Age With Agency Inputs

Life, Relationship

Study says while women like having a boyfriend who has emotional needs, men prefer to stay away from girlfriends who are too attached

Study says when girlfriends report high attachment avoidance, their boyfriends report low levels of relationship satisfaction (Photo: Pixabay)

It is a no teaser, needy women really do put off potential male partners. There is something about a clingy and distrustful girlfriend that can cause their boyfriends to feel anxious about their relationship. However, the thumb rule does not apply to women. Scientists suggest this may be because women have a greater desire to look after their partner’s emotional needs.

Ashley Cooper, a second-year-doctoral student at Florida State University who is the lead author of the study says, “'For people anxious in their attachments, they have anxiety as to whether the person is going to be there for them and whether they are worthy of others.” She goes on to add, “'I was interested in how attachment security impacted partners' experiences in their relationship on a daily basis.”

Ms Cooper and her team interviewed a number of couples and asked them to answer a series of questions based on how the couples communicated their attachment to each other.

Of the sample, 74 per cent of the participants were dating and nearly 50 per cent of participants were in relationships of two years or less.

Researchers specifically looked at the couples in which one or both partners experienced high attachment avoidance and attachment anxiety.

According to the study, when girlfriends reported high attachment avoidance, their boyfriends reported generally low levels of relationship satisfaction or quality.

When girlfriends reported high attachment anxiety, there tended to be increased volatility in relationship quality.

But for women, when their partners became anxious, they were able to maintain their security in the relationship.

The research went on to state, “Women may be more skilled in buffering the deleterious impact of attachment anxiety on relationship quality reports by developing behaviors that compensate for the behaviors of their anxious partner.”,

'This pattern could be because attachment anxiety in their partners may activate women’s desires to care for their partners, especially because women may be expected to take on the role of maintaining the relationship.'

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