Crazy in Love

Study Finds Romantic Relationships Can Stabilize Neurotic People

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I’m a neurotic, red-blooded American woman. And as such, I have panic attacks about the real issues, like the fact that shorts season is upon us, or that it gets hot in the kitchen when I boil water for pasta. Walking into the subway in Manhattan at rush hour is my daily Vietnam, and “Showtime” is my Battle of Huế. But according to a new study out of the University of Jena in Germany, there’s something that can help dilute the batshit side of all of us: each other.

“Neurotic people are rather anxious, insecure, and easily annoyed. They have a tendency towards depression, often show low self-esteem and tend to be generally dissatisfied with their lives,” says Dr. Christine Finn. “However, we were able to show that they become more stable in a love relationship, and that their personality stabilizes.”

Researchers reviewed 245 couples, ages 18 to 30, and interviewed them individually — analyzing their degrees of neuroticism as well as their satisfaction in their relationships — every three months over a nine-month period. Participants were also asked to evaluate hypothetical everyday life situations to determine how they would react. “This part was crucial,” Finn explains, “because neurotic people process influences from the outside world differently.” By this, she means that we have a tendency to complain, whine, and generally freak out. Finn’s team concluded that, while the subjects were in fulfilling romantic relationships, their neurotic behavior seemed to gradually decrease over time.

So the lesson here is that having a partner won’t fix all of your crazy, but being in a supportive relationship with a cool person that you love can you give you confidence to help you tackle things you might not attempt on your own.

[h/t Psych Central]