- Women concentrate harder when competing against strangers than partner
- Despite this, they’re more likely to win when playing against their partner
Whether it’s a game of Jenga or a round of mini golf, many date nights are centred around a competition.
Now, a study has revealed that when it comes to these competitions, the old ‘happy wife, happy life’ adage really does ring true.
Scientists from the North China University of Science and Technology found that women concentrate harder when competing against strangers than their romantic partner.
Despite this, they’re more likely to win when playing against their partner.
‘Their male partners may be adopting a “happy wife, happy life” mentality, avoiding potential relationship conflict by allowing their spouse to win,’ said Shuyu Jia, lead author of the study.
Whether it’s a game of Jenga or a round of mini golf, many date nights are centred around a competition. Now, a study has revealed that when it comes to these competitions, the old ‘happy wife, happy life’ adage really does ring true (stock image)
In the study, the team set out to study how romantic relationships influence female competitiveness.
‘Competition, an essential component of social interaction, frequently occurs in daily life, and the impact of intimate relationships on women’s competition has not yet been revealed,’ the team explained in their study, published in Neuroscience.
The researchers enlisted 52 female participants, aged 18-25, who were tasked with completing a visual cue task, which involved competing against a partner to respond to stimuli as quickly as possible.
The participants were split into two groups, with the first competing against their romantic partner, and the second group competing against strangers.
While they competed, the participants had their brain activity monitored via EEG.
The results revealed that the women showed higher levels of concentration while competing against strangers of the opposite gender than when they competed against their partner.
Scientists found that women concentrate harder when competing against strangers than their romantic partner. Despite this, they’re more likely to win when playing against their partner. Pictured: The percentage of winning trials (PWT) against partners (black) and strangers (grey)
Meanwhile, when paired with their romantic partner, the women’s focus and willingness to compete decreased.
Despite this, they were more likely to win against their partner.
The researchers say that this is an example of a ‘mate-retention behaviour’ in men.
‘Women had a higher winning rate when competing with their romantic partners, which may be the result of men adopting spouse retention strategies to maintain their romantic relationships when competing with their romantic partners to prevent the partners from leaving or being poached by other competitors,’ the team added in the study.
The news comes shortly after research revealed that couples who manage their finances together may love each other for longer.
A study showed married couples who have joint bank accounts not only have better relationships, but they fight less over money and feel better about how household finances are handled.
Kale Monk, assistant professor of human development and family science at University of Missouri says on-off relationships are associated with higher rates of abuse, poorer communication and lower levels of commitment.
People in these kinds of relationships should make informed decisions about either staying together once and for all or terminating their relationship.
Here are his top five tips to work out whether it’s the right time to end your relationship –
1. When considering rekindling a relationship that ended or avoiding future breakups, partners should think about the reasons they broke up to determine if there are consistent or persistent issues impacting the relationship.
2. Having explicit conversations about issues that have led to break ups can be helpful, especially if the issues will likely reoccur. If there was ever violence in the relationship, however, or if having a conversation about relationship issues can lead to safety concerns, consider seeking support-services when it is safe to do so.
3. Similar to thinking about the reasons the relationship ended, spend time thinking about the reasons why reconciliation might be an option. Is the reason rooted in commitment and positive feelings, or more about obligations and convenience? The latter reasons are more likely to lead down a path of continual distress.
4. Remember that it is okay to end a toxic relationship. For example, if your relationship is beyond repair, do not feel guilty leaving for your mental or physical well-being.
5. Couples therapy or relationship counselling is not just for partners on the brink of divorce. Even happy dating and married couples can benefit from ‘relationship check-ups’ in order to strengthen the connection between partners and have additional support in approaching relationship transitions.