Relational uncertainty refers to people's lack of confidence in their perception of a relationship they may be sharing with another person.
A new study that evaluated links between intimacy and uncertainty found that fluctuating perceptions cannot be separated from the course of such relationships.
Denise Haunani Solomon of Pennsylvania State University and Jennifer A. Theiss of Rutgers University surveyed 315 unmarried college students on the web about their relationship weekly for six weeks.
Researchers found that the level of intimacy people perceived within a relationship in any given week, also significantly reflected perceptions of uncertainty and interference from a partner. The data found that peak levels of uncertainty was linked with declining intimacy.
"Our results suggest that when intimacy ebbs, doubts about the relationship emerge," the authors concluded. "Making emerging adults aware of how romantic associations inevitably pose a threat to a person's subjective well-being might help them to form more realistic romantic relationship goals."
The study was published in Personal Relationships.