We're Only Human: The Partner Paradox; July / August 2011; Scientific American Mind; by Wray Herbert; 2 Page(s)
My wife and I go to spinning class a couple of mornings a week. It is something we like to do together, and I feel that I benefit from having a regular workout partner. Some days I am just lazy or I do not want to venture out in the predawn cold, but having a supportive partner motivates me. She bolsters my self-discipline when it flags.
Or does she? Is it possible that having a supportive partner might create the opposite and paradoxical effect, actually undermining effort and commitment to health and fitness goals over the long haul? Perhaps we conserve our limited supply of self-control, “outsourcing” our effort when we know that a close friend or partner is in the wings, helping us achieve a goal.