The influence of attraction to partner on heterosexual women's sexual and relationship satisfaction in long-term relationships

Arch Sex Behav. 2014 Apr;43(3):563-70. doi: 10.1007/s10508-013-0184-z. Epub 2013 Sep 21.


Previous research has consistently found that attraction is important in the formation of relationships though research on attraction in long-term relationships is less well understood. This article examined the predictive value of self-reported attraction to partner and change in attraction to partner on sexual and relationship satisfaction in 176 women in committed heterosexual relationships using online survey methodology. Participants' age ranged from 21 to 56 (M = 34.5) years and their relationship length ranged from 5 to 35 (M = 11.75) years. Hierarchical multiple regression results indicated that change in attraction to partner was the most salient predictor of sexual satisfaction, with current attraction to partner also related to women's sexual satisfaction, accounting for 20 % of the variance. Current attraction to partner was the only significant predictor of women's relationship satisfaction, accounting for 22 % of the variance. Additionally, attraction variables accounted for variance above and beyond the impact of relationship and sexual satisfaction. These findings suggest that self-reported attraction to partner is an important contributor to women's satisfaction outcomes in long-term relationships. Further studies in the area of attraction to partner that include couple dynamics and longitudinal data are encouraged and implications for therapists, clinicians, and educators are discussed.

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Canada
  • Female
  • Heterosexuality / psychology*
  • Humans
  • Interpersonal Relations*
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Multivariate Analysis
  • Object Attachment
  • Personal Satisfaction*
  • Sexual Behavior
  • Sexual Partners / psychology*
  • Time Factors
  • United States