Seeing One’s Partner Through Intimacy-Colored Glasses: An Examination of the Processes Underlying the Intimacy Goals-Relationship Satisfaction Link

This research extends previous work demonstrating that individuals with intimacy goals experience greater relationship satisfaction by examining three distinct processes that may underlie this association (e.g., engaging in intimacy-conducive interactions with their partners, having intimacy-focused partners, perceiving partners as intimacy focused). The study included 100 female college students who completed measures of intimacy goals, patterns of relationship interaction, perceptions of their partner’s intimacy goals, and relationship satisfaction. Their dating partners also completed the intimacy goals measure. Results indicate that individuals with intimacy goals engage in particular patterns of interaction and perceive their partners as having intimacy goals, although there was no association between own and partner’s goals. Moreover, women’s perceptions of their partners’ intimacy goals partially mediated the intimacy goals-relationship satisfaction link.

Catherine A. Sanderson
Amherst College,

Sarah M. Evans

Amherst College

Personality and Social Psychology Bulletin, Vol. 27, No. 4, 463-473 (2001)
DOI: 10.1177/0146167201274007