The Importance of Feeling Valued: Perceived Regard in Romantic Relationships

Justin V. Cavallo and John G. Holmes

in The Oxford Handbook of Social Exclusion

Published in print February 2013 | ISBN: 9780195398700
Published online April 2013 | | DOI:

Series: Oxford Library of Psychology

The Importance of Feeling Valued: Perceived Regard in Romantic Relationships

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  • Psychology
  • Social Psychology
  • Clinical Psychology



Romantic relationships present people with unparalleled opportunity to fulfill fundamental intimacy goals. However, they also present the risk of experiencing social pain. Recent research has identified perceived regard—how much one feels valued by one’s romantic partner—as a critical moderator that determines when people set aside interpersonal risk in pursuit of connectedness or instead, forego intimacy to protect oneself from the threat of rejection. In the present chapter, we detail how chronic beliefs about perceived regard shape romantic outcomes by influencing relational cognition and self-regulation, particularly when interpersonal risk is salient. We also explore emerging research highlighting the mechanisms underlying these processes. Feeling valued is important to relationship well-being across all interpersonal contexts, but it is particularly critical in determining the longevity and quality of romantic bonds.

Keywords: interpersonal social cognition; perceived regard; romantic relationships; self-esteem

Article.  6947 words. 

Subjects: Psychology ; Social Psychology ; Clinical Psychology

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