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Kindness, a problem in the choice of couple

Kindness, a problem in the choice of couple

April 17, 2024

The choice of couple is one of the decisions that are made the most, to which we give more importance and one of the greatest consequences that may result.

However, true compatibility is hard to find, and some might say that many couples seem to have originated as a result of a wrong decision. So, if the choice of partner is so important, Why these elections go wrong so often?

Kindness seems to be a stumbling block when choosing a partner

Much of the psychological studies on this subject take as fixed characteristics variables, such as the level of wealth, objective data about the physicist, etc. However, we must also take into account variables that occur on the ground and that only exist in the personal relationship we have with others. Can there be something in that way of relating that influences us when establishing romantic relationships? We already have studies that point in that direction.


A research team at the University of Toronto has come to the conclusion that one of the explanations for an unfortunate couple choice could be, in short, this: we are too kind .

Rejecting someone is a difficulty that is not always willing to overcome, and empathy (or cordiality, or kindness, or courtesy) can make us very open to the possibility of meeting with all kinds of people ... even those that are incompatible with us.

Taking as a starting point the assumption that human beings have social tendencies that lead us to put ourselves in the place of others and to be friendly with others (or, in other words, to avoid conflict), the team conducted an experiment to observe in what way this predisposition to empathy affected when choosing a partner. For this, they invited several men and women as experimental subjects, all of these people being single and interested in dating. Each of them, individually, they were shown three profiles with different data about three different people.

Then, the experimental subject decided which of those three profiles was the most desirable as a possible appointment. Once this was done, the experimental subject was given more information about the person he had chosen: it was a set of data among which there are characteristics that previously the person has indicated as excluding, that is, they eliminate the person have these qualities as a possible partner.

Once this information was received, the person was asked if they would be interested in establishing contact with the person described in the reports. In other words, if they were interested in having the opportunity to meet with her.

The importance of get along

However, from this point the experiment bifurcated into two variants . Some people were told that the possible half orange was right there, in the lab, in an adjoining room. Another group of participants was asked to imagine that this person was in the next room. This means that one group of participants was more empathically conditioned than the other, feeling that personal proximity to a person who, at least on paper, did not meet the characteristics they were looking for.

Were the results different in both groups?

Clearly different. In the group of those who only had to imagine the proximity of the other person, hardly 17% of the participants said they wanted to see each other .

Instead, in the group of those who thought they had the other person close to them, more than a third accepted . In addition, when asked what had prompted them to make that decision, the scientists found a combination of self-interest and a spirit of generosity. The concern for the feeling of the other clearly influenced, at the expense of the predisposition to reject possible partners.

However, it is not clear that this trend has to be a source of unhappiness. Of course, it can be if the empathy masks important incompatibilities that are revealed as the relationship progresses, until reaching a point where these problems take more prominence than the desire not to hurt the other. On the other hand, it can also lead to romantic relationships where, a priori, there were only prejudices and banal ideas about how the ideal couple should be, and this in turn would make empathy and emotional ties gradually strengthen. As in many other things, time seems to be a decisive factor when evaluating a personal relationship .

Why We Pick Difficult Partners (April 2024).

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