You are here

Good Body Image Helps Maintain a Happy Relationship

December 6, 2013
ABC News Radio

A woman who is happy with her body is more able to maintain a happy relationship. That’s the conclusion of a new study that also finds that women who are satisfied with their current relationship tend to be okay with their weight and body image.

“The link between relationship satisfaction and one's body image is strong and works both ways,” said study author Sabina Vatter, a postgraduate student at Tallinn University in Estonia.

Vatter surveyed 250 women between 20 and 45 years old who were in a relationship. About 71 percent of the women surveyed were living with their partner, and 29 percent were married.

The respondents were asked about their relationship satisfaction, their sexual intimacy, their self-image and their self-esteem. Vatter found that the women most critical of their bodies were less happy in their relationships.

"They had lower self-esteem and they were less satisfied with their sexual intimacy," Vatter said. "In order to feel good and happy in a relationship, one should have positive feelings toward their body and feel comfortable in their body, because without this a woman might feel dissatisfaction toward the relationship."

The study also found that women who had previously dieted or were currently on a diet were more likely to be unhappy with their weight and more self-conscious about their bodies.

The study will be presented Friday at a meeting of the British Psychological Society in York, England.