Recent relationship research proved that people who struggle with body image tend to project their insecurities onto their significant other. By doing this, they directly affect sexual satisfaction and the overall quality of the relationship.
The research consisted of two studies, both looking into heterosexual couples who were together for three or four years. Both studies focused on how one’s perception of themselves affects their satisfaction inside the relationship.
The first study required participants to assess their attractiveness, their partner’s attractiveness, and their relationship. In addition to this, they were also asked to rate how much they fit into what they think is their partner’s ideal. The second study focused on the relation of the participants’ BMI and their sexual satisfaction.
Both studies confirmed what they called ‘’projection bias.’’ It’s used to explain a thinking pattern in which we believe that others see us in the same way we see ourselves, which in return additionally lowers our self-esteem and overall satisfaction.
However, while both men and women experienced projection bias, it only affected women’s relationship satisfaction. Women who think their partner finds them attractive are happier in their relationships regardless of how attractive they find their partner.
When it comes to men, their personal feeling of attractiveness had no relation to their satisfaction in the relationship. On the contrary, the best indication of men’s happiness in the relationship is how attractive they find their partner.