The real reason why people stay in bad relationships

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  • Well this isn't romantic at all

    Bad relationships seem to move at a pace that’s somewhere between fast-forward and sufferable slow motion. One day, you’re in the honeymoon period, convinced you’ve never felt this way before and then the next, you’re five years into a relationship where the lows outweigh the highs and any original spark or excitement has disappeared completely.

    Sound familiar? The majority of us have experienced that ‘how did we get here?’ feeling and apparently, according to the journal Current Psychologythere’s a science to why we tend to stay. 

    Are we simply just creatures of habits? Or are we that afraid of change or of being alone? Apparently, it’s actually none of these things and has a lot more to do with how much value we put on time and money, over love and happiness.

    bad relationships


    This most recent study asked 1,000 people to imagine themselves in various different loveless scenarios: one group were told they were in an unhappy marriage for 10 years, another were told they’d been married for one year, the third were told they had bought a house together and the final group were told that a lot of effort was put into trying to save the marriage.

    The results showed that 35% of those who put either money or extra effort into the relationship would choose to stay, while 25% of the group who were told they’d only been married for a year wouldn’t stick around. The group that were in the 10-year loveless marriages decided they would also stay in the relationship.

    Researchers have called this ‘the sunk cost effect’ – when you stay in something because you don’t want to waste any money, time or effort that you’ve already put in.

    Well, considering that the secret to a happy relationship is actually rather depressing, avoid staying in a bad relationship just because it’s convenient.

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