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Planning date nights that promote closeness: The roles of relationship goals and self-expansion.

Authors
  • Harasymchuk, Cheryl1
  • Walker, Deanna L2
  • Muise, Amy3
  • Impett, Emily A4
  • 1 Carleton University, Canada. , (Canada)
  • 2 Western University, Canada. , (Canada)
  • 3 York University, Canada. , (Canada)
  • 4 University of Toronto Mississauga, Canada. , (Canada)
Type
Published Article
Journal
Journal of social and personal relationships
Publication Date
May 01, 2021
Volume
38
Issue
5
Pages
1692–1709
Identifiers
DOI: 10.1177/02654075211000436
PMID: 34121791
Source
Medline
Keywords
Language
English
License
Unknown

Abstract

Spending time with a romantic partner by going on dates is important for promoting closeness in established relationships; however, not all date nights are created equally, and some people might be more adept at planning dates that promote closeness. Drawing from the self-expansion model and relationship goals literature, we predicted that people higher (vs. lower) in approach relationship goals would be more likely to plan dates that are more exciting and, in turn, experience more self-expansion from the date and increased closeness with the partner. In Study 1, people in intimate relationships planned a date to initiate with their partners and forecasted the expected level of self-expansion and closeness from engaging in the date. In Study 2, a similar design was employed, but we also followed up with participants 1 week later to ask about the experience of engaging in their planned dates (e.g., self-expansion, closeness from the date). Taken together, the results suggest that people with higher (vs. lower) approach relationship goals derive more closeness from their dates, in part, because of their greater aptitude for planning dates that are more exciting and promote self-expansion. © The Author(s) 2021.

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