The NY Times website has an article titled “Sustainable Love”. In it the author Tara Parker discusses the concept of self-expansion. Self-expansion is a “process in which individuals use a relationship to accumulate knowledge and experiences.” The article sates that research shows that the more self-expansion people experience from their partner, the more committed and satisfied they are in the relationship.
I can definitely say that in the year and half that I’ve known Dr. B I have definitely experienced new experiences, learned many new things from him, and continue to grow as a person. In my single years, I preferred to date guys that had experienced more things than I had so that I could learn a thing or two from them, but whom I could also teach them a few things. Dr. B and I have that continuous flow of learning and teaching to and from each other.
You can read the article in it’s entirety here, but here is an excert:
If you’re seeking self-growth and obtain it from your partner, then that puts your partner in a pretty important position. And being able to help your partner’s self-expansion would be pretty pleasing to yourself.
Partners involved in novel and interesting experiences together were more likely to pick one of the overlapping circles and less likely to report boredom. People have a fundamental motivation to improve the self and add to who they are as a person. If your partner is helping you become a better person, you become happier and more satisfied in the relationship.
To learn more about your own relationship, take the quiz to measure how much it expands your knowledge and makes you feel good about yourself. The quiz was developed by Gary W. Lewandowski Jr., associate psychology professor at Monmouth University in New Jersey.
I scored a 67, and a 60 or above means:
60 and above — Highly Expansive. You are gaining a lot of new experiences and reaching new goals as a result of your relationship. Chances are you have a happier, more sustainable relationship as a result.
How sustainable is your marriage or relationship? Do you look at it as a self-serving union? Take the quiz and let me know what you score.
- Is marriage becoming obsolete? (cnn.com)
- Fusion…Marriage Killer or Marriage Builder? (natashawilliams.wordpress.com)
- Want the secret to a happy marriage? Don’t have sex before the wedding (dailymail.co.uk)