Multidimensional perfectionism and perceptions of potential relationship partners


Multidimensional models of perfectionism predict important outcomes for existing interpersonal relationships, but limited research has examined multidimensional perfectionism in the context of initial attraction and evaluation of potential relationship partners (cf. Hoffmann, Stoeber, & Musch, 2015). In this preregistered within-subjects experiment, 381 participants from the United States completed an online survey rating their interest in potential relationships with and stereotypes of five potential relationship partner profiles: self-oriented, socially prescribed, and other-oriented perfectionists, a non-perfectionist, and a baseline profile not mentioning perfectionism. Baseline and non-perfectionist profiles received the highest ratings of likability, desire to be in a relationship, and warmth followed by the socially prescribed, self-oriented, then other-oriented perfectionist profiles. In contrast, self-oriented perfectionists were rated as more competent than self-oriented or other-oriented perfectionists. Participants anticipated being less happy in long term and high investment relationships with perfectionists compared to short term and low investment relationships, whereas the opposite pattern was true for the baseline and non-perfectionist profiles. Finally, participants’ own self-oriented, socially prescribed, and other oriented perfectionism each positively predicted interest in relationships with perfectionists, but did not positively predict interest in the baseline and non-perfectionist profiles. Strengths, limitations, and contributions to the understanding of perfectionism in relationships are discussed.

Personality and Individual Differences