A nice surprise: sacrifice expectations and partner appreciation in romantic relationships

Zoppolat, Giulia, Visserman, Mariko L and Righetti, Francesca (2020) A nice surprise: sacrifice expectations and partner appreciation in romantic relationships. Journal of Social and Personal Relationships, 37 (2). pp. 450-466. ISSN 0265-4075

[img] PDF - Published Version
Available under License Creative Commons Attribution-Non-Commercial.

Download (298kB)


Romantic partners regularly encounter conflicts of interests and sacrifice their self-interest for their partner or the relationship. But is this relationship maintenance behavior always appreciated by the partner receiving the sacrifice? We examined whether expectations of sacrifices (i.e., beliefs that sacrifices are necessary, normal, and expected in relationships) predict people’s appreciation for their partner and, ultimately, their relationship satisfaction. Utilizing a daily experience procedure among romantic couples in the Netherlands ( N = 253 individuals), we found that when participants perceived a partner’s sacrifice, they experienced greater partner appreciation (i.e., gratitude and respect) and, in turn, felt more satisfied with their relationship when their sacrifice expectations were low, rather than high. In contrast, perceiving a partner’s sacrifice had no effect on appreciation and relationship satisfaction when the sacrifice recipient held strong sacrifice expectations. These findings illustrate the power that expectations have in influencing the receiver’s appreciation of their partner’s pro-social behavior.

Item Type: Article
Keywords: Behavioral and Social Science
Schools and Departments: School of Psychology > Psychology
SWORD Depositor: Mx Elements Account
Depositing User: Mx Elements Account
Date Deposited: 03 Jan 2023 12:52
Last Modified: 10 Feb 2023 11:12
URI: http://sro.sussex.ac.uk/id/eprint/109707

View download statistics for this item

📧 Request an update