Ideals in intimate relationships

Garth J.O. Fletcher, Geoff Thomas, Louise Giles, Jeffry A. Simpson

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

414 Scopus citations


This research examined lay relationship and partner ideals in romantic relationships from both a social-cognitive and an evolutionary perspective. Studies 1 and 2 revealed that the qualities of an ideal partner were represented by 3 factors (partner warmth-trustworthiness, vitality-attractiveness, and status-resources), whereas the qualities of an ideal relationship were represented by 2 factors (relationship intimacy-loyalty and passion). A confirmatory factor analysis in Study 3 replicated these factor structures but found considerable overlap across the partner and relationship dimensions. Studies 4 and 5 produced convergent and discriminant validity evidence for all 5 factors. Study 6 indicated that the higher the consistency between the ideals and related assessments of the current partner and relationship, the more positively the current relationship was evaluated.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)72-89
Number of pages18
JournalJournal of personality and social psychology
Issue number1
StatePublished - Jan 1999


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