The effects of mindfulness and self-compassion on satisfaction in romantic relationships.

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Last reviewed: 14.06.2024

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16 May 2024, 09:36

Many people practice mindfulness and self-compassion techniques in their daily lives as part of their self-care routine. While many studies support the individual benefits of mindfulness and self-compassion, few have focused on outcomes in romantic relationships. A new study published in Personal Relationships examined how mindfulness, self-compassion, compassion for others, and need satisfaction are associated with relationship satisfaction and sexual satisfaction in middle-aged married couples.

The study involved 640 married adults aged 40 to 59 years living in Canada.

Mindfulness is non-judgmental attention and awareness of current moments; compassion for others and self-compassion describe a kind attitude towards others and oneself; Need satisfaction is divided into autonomy needs (feeling at ease in one's actions), competence needs (feeling capable), and relatedness needs (feeling connected to others).

Statistical analysis of participants' responses revealed a complex interaction between these factors and highlighted the importance of need satisfaction, particularly the need for relatedness, in linking higher mindfulness and self-compassion with higher satisfaction in middle-aged married couples.

"Romantic relationships are surprisingly complex and dependent on many personal and interpersonal variables. We used an analytical approach that could model this complexity. Our results, although preliminary and exploratory, suggest that there may be a positive relationship between mindfulness, self-compassion and improvement However, these positive effects appear to occur indirectly (through associations with more proximate variables such as relationship need satisfaction), which is consistent with developing theory in the field,” said Christopher Quinn-Nilas, PhD, author of the study. From Memorial University.

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