Perceived benefits and costs of romantic relationships for women and men: Implications for exchange theory

CONSTANTINE SEDIKIDES, MARY BETH OLIVER, W. KEITH CAMPBELL

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

51 Scopus citations

Abstract

This investigation examined the perceived benefits and costs of romantic (i.e., reciprocal dating) relationships. In Study 1, subjects provided open‐ended reports regarding the benefits and costs associated with romantic involvement. Different groups of subjects ranked (Study 2) and rated (Study 3) these benefits and costs for importance. Companionship, happiness, and feeling loved or loving another were among the most important benefits accompanying romantic involvement. The most serious costs included stress and worry about the relationship, social and nonsocial sacrifices, and increased dependence on the partner. Compared to males, females regarded intimacy, self‐growth, self‐understanding, and positive self‐esteem as more important benefits, and regarded loss of identity and innocence about relationships and love as more important costs Alternatively, males regarded sexual gratification as a more important benefit, and monetary losses as a more serious cost than did females Implications for exchange theory are highlighted.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)5-21
Number of pages17
JournalPersonal Relationships
Volume1
Issue number1
DOIs
StatePublished - Mar 1994

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Social Psychology
  • Anthropology
  • Developmental and Educational Psychology
  • Life-span and Life-course Studies

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