Think You Can Always Tell Where a Relationship is Going? Wrong, Says Study

5/17/2018 - Associate Professor of Psychology Paul Eastwick in Stylist.

Most of us have been on a date where we think we can predict how our time with the person sitting across from us is going to pan out. They’re nice, we think, but we can’t really see it going anywhere serious. We’ll probably just see one another casually for a while before it fizzles out. Maybe it’ll be a summer fling? Whatever – this person is not long-term partner material. 

But according to new research, we should give up on the idea that we can accurately foresee where a relationship is going. The study, published in the Journal of Experimental Psychology: General, shows that long-term and short-term relationships are more or less indistinguishable at the outset, making it mighty difficult to tell which dalliances will go the distance and which will fall by the wayside. 

“In the beginning, there is no strong evidence that people can tell whether a given relationship will be long-term and serious or short-term and casual,” says Paul Eastwick, an associate professor of psychology at the University of California – Davis and the lead author on the study.

Read the full story in Stylist.