Quality in dating couples

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Specifically, when people perceive that their romantic relationship is marginalised, not only do they report worse physical and psychological health and less commitment to their relationship, but they also have an increased likelihood of breaking up in the next year.

In light of these results, one might reasonably predict the opposite of the Romeo and Juliet effect: when parents don’t approve of a relationship and try to interfere, that relationship is more likely to deteriorate rather than flourish.

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Justin Lehmiller does not work for, consult, own shares in or receive funding from any company or organisation that would benefit from this article, and has disclosed no relevant affiliations beyond their academic appointment.

In recent years, however, several scientists (myself included) have grown sceptical.

The results shows that the more parental approval reported at beginning, the more love and commitment was reported four months later. Also, the more parental interference at the beginning, the less love and commitment reported four months later.

However, this effect only held for married couples.

It just doesn’t seem to fit with what the broader literature on social approval and relationships has reported.

For instance, I published a series of three studies over the past decade showing that when one’s family and friends do not accept or approve of one’s relationship, the health of the partners and the quality of the relationship tends to suffer.

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