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By Joshua Krishnamoorthi

Researchers at the Vita-Salute San Raffaele University in Italy have found if you consistently fear you’ll break up with your partner and see yourself shying away from commitment, it might affect your relationship in the long run. Researchers have found the participants’ romantic feelings and level of commitment toward their partners were more intense when there was no mention of the possibility of a potential breakup.

A group of 104 participants in the study were asked to provide their basic information and the dynamics of their relationship. For generating data, the researchers manipulated each participant’s perception giving them the fear their relationship was at stake and could end. The technique involved providing statistics about the failure of relationships to one group and giving a false feedback to some participants about their chances of their relationship coming to an end. They also asked participating members to share how involved and committed they were in their relationship and how they felt toward their partner.

Published in the journal, Motivation and Emotion, it was noted the pressure of a romantic relationship coming to an end often diminished the depth of love and commitment felt toward a partner. In short, the amount of love you feel toward your partner may be directly proportional to the longevity of the relationship according to the study.

“This shows that, when faced with a ‘too high’ risk of ending the relationship, participants clearly reduced the intensity of their positive feelings towards the romantic partner,” said Simona Sciara, a psychologist at the university and one of the authors of the study.

So basically, if someone thinks their relationship is at a high risk, they are more likely to pull away to protect themselves. That, in turn, increases the odds things will not work out, thus leading to the feared breakup.

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