In an unforgettable episode of the TV series Sex and the City, Carrie confesses that she is absolutely in love with her new boyfriend, Jack Berger. “Everything is new, everything is new, everything is foreplay,” he says.
‘So a trip to bed bath behind (Shop) It can be exhilarating…and of course those first kisses are the best in the world. ”
However, the first two times they have sex, Carrie finds the experience visibly disappointing.
“tree leavesHe. SheSamantha Curry recommends.
The episode titled “Great Expectations” caught the attention of psychologist Jessica Maxwell, a senior lecturer in psychology at the University of Auckland in New Zealand.
“It surprised me that the characters assumed that sex should be relatively easy and that they would be willing to throw in the towel at the relationship if the sex was bad,” he says.
However, her conversations with her friends indicated that many people in real life take the position of Samantha.
This prompted Maxwell to investigate the ways our beliefs can affect our intimate relationships in the short and long term.
On the one hand, there issexual development mindset“, the belief that satisfaction requires effort and work. On the other hand, there is”The sexual destiny mentalityThe idea that the natural compatibility of sexual partners is the primary factor that allows couples to maintain sexual satisfaction, which means that any effort in a sexual relationship may indicate that the relationship is destined to fail.
In a series of studies, Maxwell found that these mindsets can dictate how people deal with problems in the bedroom, with serious consequences for the quality of their relationships.
His research suggests that by building more constructive “sexual expectations,” we can all enjoy a healthier, happier love life.
Maxwell’s findings join a growing body of literature examining the effects of mindsets in many different areas of life.
The most famous studies come from Carol Dweck at Stanford University. In decades of research, he has studied whether people believe that academic ability is immutable and cannot be changed, or whether they see their abilities as something that can grow with practice.
In general, people with a developing mindset seem more willing to take on new challenges and are better able to deal with setbacks.
There seem to be attempts to promote growth mindsets applied in a supportive learning environment increase the overall achievement of students, So that Children with disabilities can reach their potential better.
Inspired by Dweck’s findings, psychologists around the world have now explored the role of the mindset in many other areas, including health and fitness behaviors, passion in the workplace, and The strength of your relationships Husband.
As interesting as these studies were, the focus of the recent study was on the romantic rather than the physical aspect of the relationship. Maxwell suspected that our attitudes toward sex might be just as important.
To find out, he devised scales to measure “sexual destiny mindset” and “sexual development mindset.”
The first focused on the belief that sexual compatibility is immediate and reflects the general fitness of your partner, through statements such as “If sexual partners were to be together, sex would be easy and wonderful” and “It is clear from the start how satisfying a couple’s sex life will be for the life of their relationship.
By contrast, a sexual development mindset was measured by agreeing with statements such as “compromising a partner is part of a good sexual relationship” and “a successful sexual relationship is partly a matter of learning how to deal with sexual differences with a partner.”
In a series of studies, Maxwell and colleagues asserted that people’s sexual mindset affected their sexual satisfaction and the overall quality of their relationship beyond their romantic mindset.
The sexual destiny mindset was particularly important when couples faced disagreements about their sexuality.
“Leaves That what happens in the bedroom affects the opinions General about the relationshipMaxwell says.
By contrast, strong endorsements of sexual development beliefs tended to produce happier relationships, both in and out of the bedroom.
Next, Maxwell wanted to know how differences in mentality affected people’s daily sexual lives.
Participants were asked to complete a three-week diary, which allowed him to track changes in people’s mindsets and the general quality of their sexual experiences.
We found greater support for the belief that ‘sex takes work’ on any given day, araHe went Benefits“, He says.
As further evidence, Maxwell explored the ways in which sexual mindsets influenced couples’ transition to parenthood, an event known to wreak havoc in sexual relationships.
Consistent with previous findings, growth beliefs predicted greater satisfaction for both the individual and their partner during this challenging time. By contrast, higher destiny beliefs led to significantly less gratification.
Maxwell and colleagues have now replicated these findings in other contexts, and he is pleased to see that many other researchers are now studying the importance of mentality in our sexual relationships.
They have shown, for example, that mentality influences how people deal with low libido and communicate partners about their sexual needs.
In the future, Could this research provide new interventions for couples with difficulties?
So far, there is some evidence that mindsets are resilient, at least temporarily.
In a recent study from the University of Minnesota Duluth, USA, researchers asked some participants to read a (fake) news article that emphasized the idea that love can flourish with hard work, a text designed to nurture a romantic growth mindset.
They were then asked about their attitudes toward different types of perceived infidelity, from flirting with someone to having sex online to direct sexual intercourse. People with a growth mindset tend to have more tolerant attitudes.
Maxwell ran a similar experiment using articles that attempted to manipulate people’s sexual mindsets.
Maxwell found that an article promoting a sexual growth mindset increased participants’ desire to meet their partner’s sexual needs.
Maxwell stresses that these are preliminary results of short-term manipulation, but is optimistic that teaching a growth mindset can help couples therapy.
“I think that will involve multiple exposures to the idea,” he says, and believes that couples will need to be encouraged to apply what they have learned.
He also points to a study that asked couples to watch films depicting relationship problems, before considering the content and describing how to apply the same lessons to their own lives — a surprisingly simple intervention that dramatically lowered divorce rates over three years. .
“It was basically as effective as regular couples therapyHe highlights, adding that he would be interested to see if the same method could be applied, but with an added focus on the mindsets that characters reveal and their effects on relationships.
You could ask couples to identify when characters fail to communicate their needs because of their destiny mindset, for example, and suggest ways imaginary couples can use a growth mindset to deal with problems constructively.
In this case, perhaps it will be useful to re-watch the episodes of “Sex and the City”.
* This article was originally published in English by BBC WorklifAnd. click hereTo read the original article.
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