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People's long-term partner ideals are functional in that they guide adaptive mate-selection decisions and thus people should be more satisfied with, and consequently, have more positive interactions with their romantic partners to the extent that those partners match their ideals (i.e., demonstrate high ideal-partner consistency). Very little research, however, has examined the behavioral implications of ideal-partner consistency and no research, to our knowledge, has examined the extent to which relationship satisfaction mediates this association. Moreover, some scholars have challenged the broader validity of ideal-partner consistency. Thus, the present research aimed to test the predictive validity of long-term ideal-partner consistency for relationship satisfaction and downstream relationship behaviors by using (a) three different studies comprising four independent samples, (b) the strongest methods available, and (c) four commonly used metrics of ideal-partner consistency (to rule out the possibility that results are unique to a single metric). Results demonstrated that people whose partners more (versus less) closely match their ideals were more satisfied with their relationships, which was associated with increased positive partner interactions (Studies 1 and 2) and decreased negative partner interactions (Studies 1 and 3). Notably, these associations emerged across all metrics of ideal-partner consistency and using both self-report and observational measures of partner interactions. Together, these findings provide the strongest empirical test to date of the ideal standards model, suggesting that ideal-partner consistency is indeed associated with people's relationship evaluations and subsequent interactions with their partners.
A Thesis submitted to the Department of Psychology in partial fulfillment of the requirements for the degree of Master of Science.
Includes bibliographical references.
Andrea L. Meltzer, Professor Directing Thesis; Jon K. Maner, Committee Member; Sara A. Hart, Committee Member.
Florida State University
Peters, S. D. (2021). People Whose Romantic Partners Match Their Partner Ideals Have Satisfying, Positive Interactions with Those Partners. Retrieved from https://purl.lib.fsu.edu/diginole/2021_Fall_Peters_fsu_0071N_16787