Washington, Apr 5 (IANS): Being true to yourself ensures better romantic relationships, says a new research.
A new study examined how dating relationships were affected by the ability of people to see themselves clearly and objectively, act in ways consistent with their beliefs, and interact honestly and truthfully with others.
"In other words, the ability to follow the words of William Shakespeare: 'to thine own self be true'," said Amy Brunell, assistant professor of psychology at Ohio State University's (OSU) Newark campus, who led the study.
Findings showed that college students who reported being more true to themselves also reported more positive dating relationships.
"If you're true to yourself, it is easier to act in ways that build intimacy in relationships, and that's going to make your relationship more fulfilling," Brunell said.
Sixty two heterosexual couples, all college students, who participated in the study, completed a long list of questionnaires in three separate sessions that took place about two weeks apart.
The first set of questionnaires probed how true participants were to themselves, a characteristic that psychologists call "dispositional authenticity". This was measured through the answers to questions like "For better or for worse, I am aware of who I truly am".
In the second phase, participants answered questions examining various aspects of their relationship functioning, including their willingness to discuss their emotions with their partner, and whether they kept secrets.
The third phase involved measures of relationship satisfaction and personal well-being.
Overall, the study found that both men and women who reported being more true to themselves also behaved in more intimate and less destructive ways with their partner, and that led to them feeling their relationship was more positive. In addition, they also reported greater personal well-being.
The study also confirmed findings from other studies that show that when men or women act in constructive, healthy ways in a relationship, it increases their partners' satisfaction with the relationship, according to an OSU release.
The study appears online in Personality and Individual Differences.