Sunday, October 6, 2013

"She's Just Not Right For You!"

When people want to know how long their relationship will last they often try to figure out how they really feel.  Thus, they fail to use the one resource that gives the best predictor of relationship success or failure: their friends and family.

On the “Science of Relationships” blog (h/t Susan Walsh), Karen Blair writes:

... you may want to consider listening to the opinions of your friends and family, as sometimes ‘outsiders’ have more accurate predictions of long-term relationship outcomes.

Of course, you can always try to win people over by emphasizing the many wonderful qualities your lover has. Or you can develop a circle of friends that accepts him or her.

Unfortunately, when those who care the most about you believe that “she’s just not right for you,” the chances are that they are right. Especially, if they are women.

Benjamin Le  explains that the people who have the best sense of a relationship are “her friends:”

Research by Chris Agnew,SofR’s own Tim Loving, and Steve Drigotas3 gathered a sample of heterosexual dating couples and had them identify “his friends,” “her friends,” and “our friends” (i.e., friends of both partners) and then asked them all to rate the commitment and closeness of the couple. When comparing all of the responses, her friends’ ratings were consistently the best predictors of breakup -- better than the couple themselves, joint friends, and his friends. In fact, after you accounted for what her friends thought, you really didn’t need to ask anybody else what they thought about the relationship – you already knew everything you needed to predict the fate of the dating relationships! So if you want to know if a particular relationship will make it, ask her friends.
Why is it that her friends seem to have the most insight into a relationship? Maybe women talk to their friends more about relationships, so her friends have more information about the relationship. Or maybe her friends are more likely to be female (as they were in this study); if women are more “in tune” with relationships (i.e., the stereotype that women are more concerned about relationships than men), then her female friends are likely to be accurate in their assessment of the relationship. We don’t have the phrase “women’s intuition’ for nothing.


Lindsay Harold said...

I tend to think the ability of a woman's friends to predict a relationship's success is, at least partially, a causative one. She's going to be heavily influenced by her friends' assessment of her significant other. If they like him, she's likely to continue to see his good qualities. If they don't like him, they will point out his flaws and thus, eventually, cause her to focus on his flaws also and ruin the relationship. Men simply aren't influenced by the opinions of their friends in the same way.

Leo G said...

Lindsay, plus one!

Not only that, but I have noticed in my 5 decades or so on this earth, that when one woman of a group gets divorced/separated, there seems to be a chain reaction. Some say that woman are more prone to social stressors then men, so maybe we have the old analogy backwards? Maybe men are more like cats and women are more like dogs?

Anonymous said...

Or, along Lindsay's line of thought, most relationships don't go the distance, so perhaps women are more inherently negative about relationships? And, since most relationships are doomed to fail (including marriage?), they seem more prescient due to this fact?

Dennis said...

Well stated with a balance between the emotions involved and the logic required. I visited your site yesterday and must say that I am always happy to see that there are bright talented, thinking young women on the net. One normally sees angry insecurity demonstrated far more than a thoughtful well reasoned argument from a significant number of others whom one supposes think that they speak for the vast majority of women If one can get past this cacophony of drivel one finds there are women worth knowing and to be loved by in far larger numbers than what one might surmise.
Further it does not surprise me that you are a home schooled graduate because your writing is crisp, concise, well reasoned and thoughtful. Your response on abortion is one of the best I have read. If one has not visited your site it is well worth the read. You remind me of some of my favorite women bloggers such as, neoneocon, Dr. Sanity, Dr, Helen Smith and a number of women bloggers on the Right. Keep up the good work.

Lindsay Harold said...

Thank you, Dennis. That's one of the finest compliments I've ever received online.

Lastango said...


If they don't like him, they will actively militate against him, deliberately driving wedges at every opportunity. Because of their instinctive, own-group preference, it only takes one strong voice to get the ball rolling. The rest fall into line as a way of reinforcing their solidarity with one another. The man in question provides a welcome vehicle for this exercise in bonding, which is followed by much high-fiving when he goes away. (I've seen this shark-pack dynamic in the workplace many times, often directed against other women.)

IMO, a key word here is "like". There don't have to any real objections -- just disinclination or discomfort.