Men Seek Social Status, Women Seek Companionship in Relationships

C. Price

Written by: C. Price

C. Price

C. Price is part of's content team. She writes advice articles, how-to guides, and studies — all relating to dating, relationships, love, sex, and more.

Edited by: Lillian Castro

Lillian Castro

Lillian Guevara-Castro brings more than 30 years of journalism experience to ensure DatingAdvice articles have been edited for overall clarity, accuracy, and reader engagement. She has worked at The Atlanta Journal and Constitution, The Gwinnett Daily News, and The Gainesville Sun covering lifestyle topics.

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While self-esteem can be impacted by the start or end of a relationship, a new study finds men and women arrive at it in different ways.

For the research, which appeared in the journal Psy­cho­log­i­cal Sci­ence, both men and women were surveyed on how self-esteem is influenced under various relationship scenarios.

Participants were also asked to imagine their own relationship ending and evaluate how their self-esteem would be impacted by such a split.

In hypothetical situations, men were found to depend less on a relationship for self-worth compared to women.

However, when asked about their own relationships, men reported a greater dependence on the union to determine their personal self-esteem.

“Men reported a greater dependence on a

relationship to determine their self-esteem.”

While both genders were found to rely on their relationship for self-esteem, for women it is gained through their loving connection with their partner.

Men were found to worry more about a loss of social standing should a breakup occur.

“Men and wom­en alike in­di­cat­ed that men are less re­li­ant on rela­t­ion­ships as a source of self-worth than are wom­en,” researchers wrote.

However, “Men re­ported bas­ing their self-es­teem on their own rela­t­ion­ship sta­tus (wheth­er or not they were in a relationship) more than did wom­en, and this link was sta­tis­tic­ally me­diat­ed by the perceived im­por­tance of rela­t­ion­ships as a source of so­cial stand­ing,” they added.

Lead author Dr. Tracy Kwang, a social psychologist at the University of Texas at Austin, said the relationship was found to be much more of a marker of stability and standing for men.

“Men immediately became concerned with achievement, while women immediately turned their attention to connection,” she said.

From: Psychological Science.

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