Why People Say They Stay In Questionable Relationships

Should you stay or go? Sometimes romantic relationships are confusing or hard, but what makes people stay? University of Utah researchers recruited people who fell into three different categories, including those who were in the midst of trying to decide whether to break up or not, and got them to participate in a survey. They were asked to give specific reasons for both wanting to stay and leave a relationship. They ultimately came up with a list of 27 reasons for wanting to stay, and 23 reasons for wanting to leave. There answers were converted into another survey, and given to another group of people who were trying to decide whether to leave or stay in a relationship. Ultimately, those who were dating said they considered staying due to positive reasons, such as liking aspects of their partner’s personality, emotional intimacy, and enjoyment of the relationship. Those who were married reported wanting to stay for different reasons, such as investment into the relationship, family responsibilities, fear of uncertainty, and logistical barriers. About half of both groups said they had reasons to both stay and to go, which left them ambivalent. Study leader, Professor Samantha Joel, adds, “From an evolutionary perspective, for our ancestors finding a partner may have been more important than finding the right partner. It might be easier to get into relationships than to get back out of them.” (Daily Mail