Unabashed Emotions

What Is Gatekeeping In Relationships: Examples, Effects & More

By unabashedemotions


Table of Contents

What is gatekeeping in relationships?

What is gatekeeping in relationships? Gatekeeping is a term used to describe the practice of one person in a relationship controlling access to resources or information that another person needs. 

Typically, the person who is the gate keeper holds some sort of power over the other person in the relationship and restricts that person’s access to the things that they need in order to be happy and healthy.

A 2014 study by McLeod, Krueger, and Veale found that, in romantic relationships, when one person expects their partner to help with chores but ends up supervising their actions and the task so they can’t do it to your standard, that behavior is gatekeeping.

Examples of gatekeeping in relationships

Gatekeeping is a term often used in relationships to describe when one person takes on the role of deciding who can and cannot enter or leave a relationship. 

Gatekeeping can occur in any type of relationship, but it is most common in familial and romantic relationships. Some examples of gatekeeping include refusing to accept someone’s invitation to hang out with friends or restricting access to your partner or family members. 

However, there are positive forms of gatekeeping as well. 

For example, parents might encourage their children to spend more time with friends who share the same values so the children will grow to be healthier and happier adults.

What are the factors that influence gatekeeping in relationships?

Factors that influence gatekeeping in relationships are:

1. Power dynamics

One of the main factors that influence gatekeeping is power dynamics in a relationship. For example, when one partner is more powerful in a relationship, the other partner may feel that their partner is restricting their independence and limiting them from doing things they want to do without their partner’s permission. 

This may lead to feelings of resentment in the less powerful partner.

2. History

Another important factor that influences gatekeeping in relationships is history. When two people were first getting to know each other, they may have held a lot of assumptions or beliefs about the other person that weren’t necessarily true. 

Over time, these assumptions can change over time, but these beliefs can influence how couples communicate and behave with each other. 

For example, if a couple has a history of arguing a lot, they may be more likely to argue again in the future, even if they manage to improve their relationship over time.

3. Personality traits

A third factor that influences gatekeeping in relationships is personality traits. If one partner is more reserved and shy than the other, they may feel more comfortable having a set routine with their partner than branching out and doing new things with them. 

As a result, they may try to protect their independence by not doing something their partner suggests, even if it’s something that they would like to do with them. 

On the other hand, if the reserved partner is the more adventurous one, they may feel pressured to do things they don’t want to do because they don’t feel comfortable saying no to their partner. 

4. Shared values

Finally, shared values can also influence gatekeeping in relationships. If you and your partner have very different views on religion, politics, parenting style, etc., it can be difficult for the two of you to agree on certain decisions that involve both of you. This can lead to disagreements that make it difficult for you to make decisions as a couple. 

Overall, several factors can influence gatekeeping in relationships.

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