Literature Review MATT DUBAJ.doc

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Published on 16 Apr 2013
School
Western University
Department
Psychology
Course
Psychology 2075
Professor
Literature Review
Being in a relationship has many perks and benefits such as companionship, love,
social support, and sexual involvement (Laumann, Gagnon, Michael, & Michaels, 1994;
Waite & Gallagher, 2000). Some relationships succeed but unfortunately some also fall
apart. “The discontinuance of a relationship, as a marriage or a friendship,” is the
definition of a break up. Some people realize what they have lost and would like to
rekindle their relationship with their ex-partner. The purpose of this research study is to
use past research and findings to determine whether staying friends with you ex-partner
or completely cutting contact with them increases your chances of getting back together.
The present study hypothesizes that partners that completely cut all contact and
communication with their ex-partners will have a greater chance of getting back together
than partners that decided to become friends.
Begging your partner to come back with promises of change and flowers is a poor
position to put yourself in. Putting yourself in a position of availability is a bad thing, this
gives the partner permission to go out and do whatever they want always knowing they
can always come back to you. The alternative is to be placed in a position of scarcity, to
be in a position of shortage. This is support by the old biblical story of Adam and Eve
and the Forbidden fruit. Eve’s desire to eat the fruit that grew on the tree grew stronger
and stronger as the days passed on, all because it was something that she wasn’t allowed
to have. God forbade her to eat it. There is a human tendency to want to have something
that we cannot have (DeWall, Maner, Deckman & Rouby, 2011). This applies in
relationships, in order for your ex-partner to want you you must create factors that limit
your potential of getting back together to seem more desirable. Ignoring other attractive
potential partners while in a relationship will enhance your current relationships well-
being (DeWall et al. 2011). Research done by DeWall et al. (2011) found that the
opposite is true with 3 supporting experiments, found that subtly limiting people's
attention to attractive alternatives reduced relationship satisfaction and commitment and
increased positive attitudes toward infidelity (Experiment 1), increased memory for
attractive relationship alternatives (Experiment 2), and increased attention to attractive
alternatives (Experiment 3). All these experiments are connected with the original notion
of the Forbidden fruit, wanting something that you cannot have. Distancing ourselves
from our loved ones has an effect on our human physiology surprisingly.
Completely cutting off all contact from your ex-partner may cause them to miss
you since you are no longer on the backburner. There is a common saying that states
absence makes the heart grow fonder and there is research on a physiological level that
supports this saying. A study conducted which included 237 men in a committed sexual
relationship measured various conditions of sperm samples of men who spent time apart
from their partners (Shackelford, Goetz, McKibbin & Starratt, 2007). Shackelford et al.
(2007) found that a man who spends a greater proportion of time apart from his partner
since last intercourse, they had more sexual interest in their partner, greater distress in
response to his partner's sexual rejection, and greater sexual persistence in response to his
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partner's sexual rejection. Being friends with your ex does not put you in this position,
rather like stated before; you’re put in a position of availability.
A partner wants someone who is independent, confident, strong, and secure. Most
of these qualities do not apply to you directly after a break up, you are in pain and think
irrationally and are in a position of weakness especially if you were the one that they
broke up with. After a romantic break-up individuals that reported having high levels of
anxiety engaged in hyper activating strategies, trying anything to still stay in tough with
their partner (Sbarra& Ferrer, 2006). This is a disgusting position to be in directly after a
break up nothing is worse than presenting yourself as lost and needy. Another research
study conducted included 282 participants who had experienced the termination of a
romantic relationship. (Langhinrichsen-Rohling, Palarea, Cohen & Rohling, 2000). The
purpose of the study was to investigate the prevalence and predictors of unwanted pursuit
behaviours among college students (Langhinrichsen-Rohling et al. 2000). The findings of
(Langhinrichsen-Rohling et al. 2000) 99% of break-up sufferers indicated that they had
engaged in at least one act of unwanted pursuit behaviour. This study connects to leading
or putting a partner on the back burner. This is because the partner that was broken up
with thought they had a positive impact for the pursuit behaviour when actually the
dissolver of the break up experienced having a negative impact (Langhinrichsen-Rohling
et al. 2000). Thus, encouraging pursuit behaviour which results in false hope.
The present experiment will investigate whether staying friends with you ex-
partner or completely cutting contact with them increases your chances of getting back
together. According DeWall et all. (2011) situations that implicitly limit one's attention to
alternatives can increase the temptation of alternatives and undermine relationship well-
being. This being connected to the notion of the forbidden fruit of desiring what you
cannot have. Shackelford et al. (2007) which found that spending time apart from your
partner caused greater sexual interest in his partner, greater distress in response to his
partner's sexual rejection, and greater sexual persistence in response to his partner's
sexual rejection. By cutting yourself off from your partner you create this environment,
and cause them to realize that you’re not always available, which puts you into a position
of scarcity. Sbarra et al. (2006) found that anxiety after a break up caused hyper
activating strategies which put you in a position of neediness and weakness. Both of these
qualities come across as beta to females and are completely unattractive. Langhinrichsen-
Rohling et al. (2000) study supports that constantly making attempts to stay in your ex-
partners life is counter productive and has an over-negative impact. But because a
positive impact is assumed, you never learn from your actions and are put into a position
of false hope of getting back together. These studies combined are destined to prove that
cutting your ex-partner will increase your chances of getting back together. The present
experiment will use two groups. Group one will completely cut off all contact from their
ex-partner which includes deleting them from facebook, deleting their number, and not
coming into contact with them intentionally for the next six months. Group two will stay
friends with their ex-partner which includes keeping them on facebook, see each other at
least once a week, and send minimum two texts messages a day for six months. A
between subjects design will be used. A scale similar to the Spouse-Related Thoughts
Scale will be used. “The items in the scale are: In the past two weeks, how often have you
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Document Summary

Being in a relationship has many perks and benefits such as companionship, love, social support, and sexual involvement (laumann, gagnon, michael, & michaels, 1994; Some relationships succeed but unfortunately some also fall apart. The discontinuance of a relationship, as a marriage or a friendship, is the definition of a break up. Some people realize what they have lost and would like to rekindle their relationship with their ex-partner. The purpose of this research study is to use past research and findings to determine whether staying friends with you ex-partner or completely cutting contact with them increases your chances of getting back together. The present study hypothesizes that partners that completely cut all contact and communication with their ex-partners will have a greater chance of getting back together than partners that decided to become friends. Begging your partner to come back with promises of change and flowers is a poor position to put yourself in.

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