Authenticity in Romantic Partners
Four studies examined the role of authenticity in romantic relationship outcomes. Building on prior work (Kernis & Goldman, 2006; Lopez & Rice, 2006) that has focused primarily on the associations between both partners’ self-reported authenticity and general well-being, the present paper explored the role of perceiving authenticity in romantic partners. Experimental and correlational data suggest that an individual’s own relationship authenticity, as well as his or her perception of his or her romantic partner’s authenticity predicts a number of important relationship outcomes. Self and typical partner relationship authenticity predicted relationship goals and openness to new relationships among individuals not currently involved in a romantic relationship (Study 1), and perceived partner relationship authenticity was associated with more adaptive goal orientations and more positive relationship outcomes among individuals currently involved in a romantic relationship (Study 2). In a sample of dating and married couples (Study 3), perceived partner authenticity was a stronger predictor of relationship well-being than that romantic partner’s actual authenticity.