What makes individuals happy in daily life? From personal to relational well-being
Positive relationship events that allow meaningful interactions with the romantic partner or reminding oneself of these events are expected to improve well-being, while engaging in solitary activities without the involvement of romantic partner might have an adverse effect on well-being. To address the role of positive relational experiences (and lack thereof) on well-being, the current dissertation investigated three diverse but interrelated questions. The first empirical chapter focused on how average responsiveness and responsiveness variability are linked with personal well-being and attachment orientations, as a consistent predictor of relational well-being. Across three studies, we showed low average responsiveness as a consistent predictor of increases in both partner-specific and global attachment avoidance, while responsiveness variability did not predict partner-specific or global attachment anxiety, especially after controlling for covariates. In the second empirical chapter, results of one laboratory study and two studies involving daily diary and longitudinal assessments demonstrated that both positive affect following a positive face-to-face interaction with one’s romantic partner, and daily positive relationship events—and daily positive affect as the mediator were linked to decreases in partner-specific attachment avoidance. In the last empirical chapter, we focused on the direction of the link between watching TV—a solitary daily activity that might steal time from relational activities—and positive affect. We showed that duration of watching TV did not predict lower positive affect, but lower positive affect predicted longer duration of watching TV. Overall, this research enhances our understanding of how relational and solitary experiences contribute to personal and relational well-being.