If you’re looking for a ‘keeper’ then avoid staying with a partner who can’t use the word ‘we’ to refer to your relationship – they don’t want to settle down, experts say.
Psychologists found that people who want to avoid becoming attached to someone are less likely to use the pronoun when talking about their relationships.
Experts say people’s attachment style falls into two categories, anxiety and avoidance.
Anxiety reflects how preoccupied a person is and how much they fear losing their partner.
Avoidance reflects the degree to which a partner feels uncomfortable getting close to and depending upon their other half.
Researchers from the University of California Riverside reviewed 1,400 observations from seven studies and explored adult romantic attachment and their use of pronouns.
They found even when demographics and personality traits were taken into consideration, people with an avoidant attachment style used the pronouns ‘I’ and ‘you’ more than ‘we’, ‘us’ and ‘our’.
Researchers said people are generally unaware of which pronouns they use.
But the experts say the way people unintentionally describe their romantic experiences may offer insights into how they might behave and interact in relationships as well.
Lead author Dr Will Dunlop, an assistant professor of psychology at the university, said: ‘Anxious and avoidant attachment styles capture individual differences in the ways people think, feel, and behave in romantic relationships.
‘Given that those with higher levels of avoidant attachment were found to demonstrate lower levels of we-talk when describing experiences from their romantic lives, considering the use of we words (e.g., us, ours) in the disclosure of previous romantic experiences may offer indication of one’s avoidant tendencies.
‘This is a relatively novel and indirect way of gauging avoidant attachment, as individuals are typically unaware of the pronouns they use.’
The full findings of the study were published in the journal Social Psychological and Personality Science.