Evaluating equanimity: Mindfulness, intimate safety, and relationship satisfaction among meditators
While growing evidence suggests that mindfulness may be a key predictor of relationship satisfaction, important gaps remain in our understanding of how mindfulness may facilitate the development of healthy relationships. Most studies have evaluated traitlevel mindfulness among nonmeditating populations, neglected to explore mediating variables, and utilized exclusively individual (vs. couple) data. Further, the majority of studies treat mindfulness as a unitary construct despite evidence that it comprises multiple distinct subconstructs. This study sought to address these gaps by examining mindfulness, relationship satisfaction, and 2 potential mediators-intimate safety and self-compassion-among a sample of meditators (N = 185). A smaller sample of couples (N = 29 couples) allowed for exploratory dyadic analysis. Among individuals, a 3-factor model of mindfulness, which we labeled equanimity, was positively related to relationship satisfaction and significantly mediated through intimate safety. Selfcompassion was unrelated to relationship satisfaction. Among couples, an individual's equanimity positively predicted their partner's intimate safety, which in turn positively predicted their own relationship satisfaction. Results provide preliminary evidence that meditation practice may predict a significant increase in individual relationship satisfaction via equanimity and, in turn, intimacy. Within couples, it appears that more equanimous individuals create an emotional environment conducive to their partners' intimacy, which is positively associated with their partners' relationship quality.
Couple and Family Psychology: Research and Practice
Maher, Emily L. and Cordova, James V., "Evaluating equanimity: Mindfulness, intimate safety, and relationship satisfaction among meditators" (2019). Psychology. 37.