Bad First Impression Hard To Shake

Love, Self

Breaking trust in a new relationship means little chance of recovery, study shows.

New research shows that breaching trust in a young relationship spells doomsday, whereas longer-lasting relationships have a better chance of recovering from a trust-breaking blow.

According to the Los Angeles Times the results of a multi-university study shows "that making a bad first impression can be tough to overcome."

In the study, college students were observed in two game-playing scenarios: one where an opponent cheated or otherwise breached trust early; the other where trust was broken after a longer period of time. Players in the first group were much warier about forgiving and reestablishing trust than those in the latter.

One of the lead researchers explained:

Our results fly in the face of this Hollywood notion of hating someone at first sight but then developing a wonderful, passionate relationship. The likelihood of that happening in real life is pretty low.

Love Buzz begs to disagree with the idea that one's initial notion of a person never improves. We know plenty of relationships that started with "Ugh, he's such a scalawag" and ended in solid friendship, if not love. But, we do understand how the findings relate specifically to breaking trust. If a new friend or coworker repeats something you'd ask not be told, he/she probably goes straight onto the blabbermouth blacklist.

In love, trust is vital, fragile and hard to reinstate. Take cheating, for example. In a month-old relationship, catching your guy with another woman is most likely a deal breaker. Without a plethora of experiences to back up his apologies and promise that it will never happen again, you would proceed in the relationship always wondering where he really was last night.

On the other hand, infidelity in a 15-year marriage—while undoubtedly more hurtful—might be easier to eventually forgive as a terrible fluke. As Dr. Janis A. Spring, a psychologist and author of books on healing marriage after an affair, told YourTango about the infidelity recovery process: "I tell patients that it can take a year and a half, or longer, to feel okay again." She tells patients take time to grieve and to beware of forgiving too quickly.

Click for 10 ways to heal after an affair.