Study: Couples May Miss Cues That Partner Is Hiding Emotions

Even people that have been together for years can miss ploys their partner uses to avoid dealing with emotional issues, finds a new study. Washington University researchers looked at 120 heterosexual couples (ages 18 to 25) who had been dating exclusively for more than six months. Study author Lameese Eldesouky explains, “Happy couples see their partners in a more positive light than do less happy couples. They tend to underestimate how often a partner is suppressing emotions and to overestimate a partner’s ability to see the bright side of an issue that might otherwise spark negative emotions.” A previous study found men are more likely than women to use suppression (stoically hiding emotion behind a calm and quiet poker face) with their partners, and that ongoing emotional suppression can be damaging to the long-term quality of the relationship. (EurekAlert!