That Sinking Feeling – Sunk Cost Fallacy & Relationships

What is it that keeps some people in a seemingly obvious (to an impartial third party) broken relationship? This article will explore the concept of sunk cost fallacy, relationships and how it affects your health.

To start with, sunk cost fallacy is the concept where we continue to invest time and money into a venture simply because we have already invested too much time or money into it currently, it is applicable to purchases, loans and of course relationships. Best stated as an emotional response to a logical observation.

Relationships are different for everyone. Strip it down to the core and it is about two people learning how to co-exist and growing together constantly, anything less and a gap can form. You can read about healthy relationships here. If a couple has been together for a long time, it is natural for cracks to appear in their relationship and how they manage this is the measure of their relationship longevity.

The basic truth is you cannot change a person if they are unwilling. This is where sunk cost fallacy comes into play. A broken relationship is not fixed by a simple gesture nor is it fixed by taking the next step in the relationship. If you are unhappy with your partner or the spark is gone then marriage will not fix that nor will having a child. This simply breeds more unhappiness. The reason people do this is sunk cost fallacy – they feel if they can just put a little more time and effort into the relationship, it will be fixed.

Let us take the health cost of sunk cost fallacy into consideration. Constant thought, worry, irritability and anger can lead to problems with anxiety, stress and depression.

Though it is never easy to cut your loses, investing more time may not be the solution you the problem. Always take into consideration your goals and aspirations when deciding to begin a new relationship and do your best to grow together.

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