Mississippi has the happiest relationships, while New Yorkers are the most 'clingy' partners, study finds
- The researchers measured attachment anxiety and attachment avoidance
- These terms address ‘clingy’ and cold or distant behaviour, respectively
- They also looked at marriage rates and number of people living in isolation
- States low in the unhealthy relationship markers but high in marriage were best
Virginia is often touted the ‘state for lovers,’ but according to a new study, it doesn’t even make the top 10.
Researchers ranked the best areas for positive relationships across the country, and found that Mississippi, Utah, and Wisconsin tie for the number one spot.
They also found that many states fit the ‘assumed’ patterns – California, with ‘beautiful sunsets, oceans and warm weather’ was also in the top 10, while New York was among the worst, and had one of the highest scores for ‘clingy’ behaviour.
Virginia is often touted the ‘state for lovers,’ but according to a new study, it doesn’t even make the top 10. Researchers ranked the best areas for positive relationships across the country, and found that Mississippi, Utah, and Wisconsin tie for the number one spot
THE TOP 10 STATES FOR LOVERS
2.) Utah ('essentially tied for No.1')
3.) Wisconsin ('essentially tied for No.1')
6.) North Carolina
10.) California, Maine and Washington
The team from Michigan State University and the University of Illinois at Chicago surveyed more than 127,070 adults, measuring attachment anxiety and attachment avoidance.
These terms, respectively, address ‘clingy’ behaviour in which a person constantly worries that their partner will leave them, and cases in which people dislike intimacy and are cold and distant to their partners.
These characteristics are considered to be unhealthy in a relationship.
States with the lowest scores on these measures, along with high marriage rates and fewer people living in isolation were thus considered to be the ‘top states for lovers.’
The study, published in the Journal of Research in Personality, revealed that positive relationships were most commonly found in Mississippi, Utah, and Wisconsin (essentially tying for the top spot), Vermont, Alaska, North Carolina, Delaware, Minnesota, and Oregon.
California, Maine, and Washington tied for 10th place.
THE 10 WORST STATES FOR LOVERS
1.) North Dakota
4.) South Dakota
5.) Rhode Island
7.) South Carolina
9.) New York
On the other hand, they also identified the worst states for lovers, with high scores in attachment anxiety and avoidance.
North Dakota was the overall worst, followed by Kentucky, Kansas, South Dakota, Rhode Island, Ohio, South Carolina, Colorado, New York and Indiana.
Virginia fell somewhere in between.
The researchers note that geography, along with regional temperature and weather may play a role.
Secluded mountain areas, for example, tend to cater to loners, and could explain some of the findings.
Speaking regionally, the study revealed the Pacific Coast to be the top spot for a good relationship.
Some states were even found to fit their stereotypes.
‘When I think of New York, I think of the anxious Woody Allen type, and New York had one of the highest scores for attachment anxiety,’ said lead author Bill Chopik, an assistant psychology professor who studies relationships and their effects.
The study revealed that positive relationships were most commonly found in Mississippi, Utah, and Wisconsin (essentially tying for the top spot), Vermont, Alaska, North Carolina, Delaware, Minnesota, and Oregon. California, Maine, and Washington tied for 10th place
‘California, on the other hand, seems like a romantic place with beautiful sunsets, oceans, and warm weather.
‘And Utah residents are known to be very nice, warm, and generous, which many people attribute to the large Mormon population.’
Still, the findings don’t mean your chances of finding a positive relationship are doomed if you live in one of the ‘worst’ states for lovers.
The authors note, ‘we do not recommend changing all of the affectionate mottos used to describe places or finally moving out of North Dakota.
‘To a certain degree, positive relationships are found everywhere and transcend time and place.
'After all, home is where the heart is.’
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