Social Anhedonia Harms Romantic Relationships: New Study

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Social Anhedonia
  • Social anhedonia, a symptom of depression, can contribute to reduced marital satisfaction.
  • Experts recommend availing therapy and developing self-help strategies to combat the consequences of this type of anhedonia.

Depression And Social Anhedonia

Depression is a common mental health disorder that affects millions in the global population. One of the most prominent symptoms of depression is anhedonia, which is the inability to experience pleasure from activities that are typically enjoyable.

Social anhedonia, on the other hand, refers to the lack of pleasure derived from social interactions. Individuals with social anhedonia often experience a reduced ability to form and maintain social relationships. This condition can lead to feelings of loneliness and isolation, which can exacerbate depression symptoms.

Social Anhedonia In Couples

Couples who experience social anhedonia may find it difficult to engage in social activities together. The condition can result in a lack of shared interests, causing negative feelings of disconnection and disengagement in the relationship.

Social anhedonia can also lead to communication problems, as individuals may struggle to express their emotions and connect with their partners. This can result in misunderstandings and conflicts that can further damage the relationship.

Can Social Anhedonia Impact Marital Satisfaction?

A team of researchers at Management University, Singapore, surveyed data from a series of studies that involved 80–100 couples as participants.

The latter was asked to complete questionnaires that assessed their social anhedonia, communication strategies, conflict resolution techniques, and marital satisfaction. The findings 1 Tan, K., Jarnecke, A. M., & South, S. C. (2022). Social anhedonia, communication, and marital satisfaction in newlywed couples. Journal of personality, 10.1111/jopy.12798. Advance online publication. revealed that social anhedonia is negatively associated with one’s own and one partner’s marital satisfaction.

Research further affirms that social anhedonia has a significant impact on marriage satisfaction by triggering:

  • Reduced engagement in social activities together
  • Communication difficulties
  • Increased feelings of loneliness and isolation
  • Reduced sexual intimacy,
  • Increased risk of depression and other mental health issues

Bettering Social Interactions And Mental Health

If social anhedonia is affecting your mental health and relationships, it’s essential to seek professional help. A mental health professional can help you understand the condition and provide strategies to manage it effectively.

Consider working on enriching your relationships like developing shared interests and prioritizing physical intimacy. Building a support network of family and friends who can provide emotional support and understanding also helps when it comes to managing social anhedonia symptoms and strengthening relationships.

Know More About –

  1. Relationships
  2. Depression
  3. Loneliness
  1. 6 Ways to Build a Strong Relationship When Struggling With Depression
  2. How to Communicate Unhappiness in Your Relationship So Your Partner Really Hears You
  3. 6 Things To Remember If Your Partner Is Suffering from Depression


  • 1
    Tan, K., Jarnecke, A. M., & South, S. C. (2022). Social anhedonia, communication, and marital satisfaction in newlywed couples. Journal of personality, 10.1111/jopy.12798. Advance online publication.
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