Jonas Enge
Jonas Enge@maccyber
Exploring the Links Between Personality and Relationship Satisfaction

Exploring the Links Between Personality and Relationship Satisfaction

2 min read

In a fascinating study published in 2016, researchers delved into how the Big Five personality traits—neuroticism, agreeableness, conscientiousness, extraversion, and openness—play a significant role in romantic relationships, particularly when mediated by self-esteem.

Key Findings

Personality Traits and Relationship Satisfaction

  • Neuroticism is negatively associated with relationship satisfaction, possibly because high neuroticism can lead to negative interpretations within the relationship.
  • Agreeableness, Conscientiousness, and Extraversion are positively linked to relationship satisfaction. These traits contribute to better coping mechanisms during stress, which can enhance relationship quality.
  • Openness showed mixed results, indicating that while it could introduce novelty into relationships, it might also lead to a lack of commitment.

Self-Esteem as a Mediator

  • Self-esteem plays a crucial mediating role between personality traits and relationship satisfaction. Higher levels of self-esteem are linked to better relationship satisfaction across all personality traits.
  • The study used the Actor-Partner Interdependence Mediation Model (APIMeM) to analyze both individual and partner effects, revealing intricate dynamics between personal traits, self-esteem, and relationship satisfaction.

Longitudinal Insights

  • The study also examined the effects over a two-year period, finding that traits like agreeableness and (marginally) neuroticism could predict relationship satisfaction later. Interestingly, relationship satisfaction also influenced some personality traits over time, indicating a bidirectional relationship.

Theoretical Implications and Future Directions

The study highlights the importance of considering personality and self-esteem together in understanding relationship dynamics. It challenges previous models by suggesting that personality traits and self-esteem are not just outcomes but can be predictors of relationship satisfaction over time. Future research could explore these dynamics over longer periods and with different populations to validate and expand these findings.


The research underscores the complex interplay between individual personality traits, self-esteem, and their collective impact on relationship satisfaction. It opens new avenues for therapy and relationship counseling, where focus on improving self-esteem and understanding personality dynamics could lead to more fulfilling and stable relationships.

This groundbreaking study not only adds a new dimension to our understanding of relationship dynamics but also offers practical guidance for enhancing relationship satisfaction through personal growth and mutual understanding.


Personality traits in relationships
Relationship satisfaction
Neuroticism and love
Agreeableness in romance
Conscientiousness benefits
Extraversion in relationships
Openness in partners
Self-esteem in relationships
Mediator role of self-esteem
Longitudinal relationship studies
Actor-Partner Interdependence Model
Bidirectional relationship effects
Relationship dynamics
Personality and relationship counseling
Improving relationships through personality understanding