Good news for single people: you don’t need a partner to succeed. In fact, a relationship might just get in the way. As nice as it is to have a support system during difficult times, relying on someone to accomplish a goal may actually hold you back. A study found that people who have an encouraging romantic partner are less likely to reach their aspirations. Evidently, people who feel supported become complacent and their drive to succeed suffers.
The study consisted of a series of three experiments, with the first one looking at women who were trying to get healthy and lose weight. The people who felt most supported by a partner spent less time working out to reach their fitness goal. Another study focused primarily on academic success. Subjects who indicated that they generally relied on a partner to succeed took significantly more time to complete an academic task deemed “easy” than their single peers. The final experiment demonstrated that career goals are also thrown by the wayside. Despite having career aspirations, the women who were most committed to their partners indicated they intended to put in less effort to achieve these goals than the women without a strong sense of support.
Meanwhile, if you’re in a loving partnership, obviously the solution isn’t to dump a supportive mate. However, when you have something you would like to accomplish, don’t let your effort waver just because somebody”s got your back. Remember that you are your own best motivator and that nobody is going to help you achieve your own goals quite like you can.