Healthy relationships need two things: respect and intimacy. Without these key components, any relationship is bound for trouble. A recent study showed that perfectionism starts a viscous cycle involving depression and turmoil in intimate relationships.
Sean P. MacKinnon at Dalhousie University’s department of psychology performed a study of more than 200 couples to look at how perfectionism directly affected their relationships. His findings were discussed in a recent health article.
After looking over the results, MacKinnon feels that while cycles of an unhealthy relationship are a burden, it doesn’t necessarily mean its over. If the perfectionist partner tries to understand those specific traits and how it correlates with depressive symptoms, a treatment plan can be put in place to alleviate some of those emotions.
Depression and perfectionism have similarities, however perfectionism seems to be a precursor to depressive symptoms. When it comes to relationships that are romantic in nature, those feelings of perfectionism can lean toward actions of criticism, resentment and even hostility.
It’s obvious that these emotions aren’t well suited for establishing a healthy and respectable romantic relationship. This relationship thrives on intimacy and the ability to resolve conflict.
During the cycle, if in fact depression has already set in, this can cause even more problems in the relationship. Finding a balance has to be the answer. The physical and psychological benefits that we as human beings get from being in healthy and intimate relationships are very beneficial.
Being able to appropriately identify the symptoms of perfectionism and then depression can help find resolve and reduce the feelings of imperfection and conflict. MacKinnon found in his study that when perfectionism was not satisfied, the couples fought more and engaged more feelings of depression. It was a simple form of cause and effect with a conflict.