Love is telling your partner what an awful day you’ve had: Study finds moaning to your significant other can bring you both closer
- Researchers from the University of Jena in Germany recruited 100 couples
- Half were aged between 20 and 30 and half were between 70 and 80
- The partners who shared ‘unpleasant’ experiences felt closer to each other
- Men especially have a less negative mood after complaining to their partner
When you get a parking ticket or have an argument with a colleague, it’s likely you’ll tell your partner about it over dinner.
But rather than just being a useful way to vent, moaning to your significant other about a bad day can actually bring you closer, a study has found.
Researchers from the University of Jena in Germany recruited 100 couples.
Half were aged between 20 and 30, and the other half between 70 and 80.
Both partners were asked to individually rate their relationship closeness, and then took part in a diary study over the course of three weeks.
They completed a survey on their phone, six times a day, and were asked to note whether they had recently experienced something ‘very unpleasant’ and if they had told their partner about it.
They also rated the extent to which they felt angry, downcast, disappointed and nervous, and how close they felt to their partner at the time.
Moaning to your significant other about a bad day can actually bring you closer, a study by researchers from the University of Jena in Germany found. Picture: file image
Finally, 2.5 years later, couples were again asked to rate their relationship closeness.
Results revealed participants reported feeling closer to their partner after either telling them about an unpleasant event or hearing about one.
And sharing these hassles with a partner seemed to have long-term effects too – people whose partners regularly told them about their negative experiences reported an increase in closeness over the 2.5-year period.
They also discovered that when men experienced an unpleasant event, they reported less negative mood if they told their partner about it.
Women didn’t show the same benefit, but did report a more negative mood if their partner had told them about a bad experience.
They said that learning their partner had had a bad day made them sad.
Writing in the journal Social Psychological and Personality Science, the researchers said sharing bad experiences with a partner appear to bring couples of all ages closer together, both in the short and long-term – even if it had conflicting effects on mood.
‘These effects may explain why people so frequently share bad news with others,’ they wrote.
‘It may be a catalyst for creating and nourishing relationship closeness.’