Does It Pay To Be A “Nice” Guy? In The Long Run, Yes, But In The Short Term, Not Necessarily

You don’t have to be a relationship expert to know that intimacy is one of the cornerstones of a successful long-term partnership. Couple members who make a sincere attempt to understand and validate each other typically stay together longer than those who are less responsive and supportive. However, what role does intimacy play in initial attraction? According to psychologist Dr. Gurit Birnbaum, “people often say that they are looking for a lover who is ‘responsive to their needs.’” But is it really the case that we find highly responsive and caring people to be more sexually desirable? A new set of studies led by Birnbaum and collaborator Dr. Harry Reis suggests that emotional intimacy and responsiveness are not always desirable in a prospective partner and, in some cases, can actually be a turn off.
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