‘Throwaway culture’ can negatively affect relationships


In the age of Snapchat, Tinder and texting, it shouldn’t be surprising that permanence isn’t a strong suit for many of us.

“Throwaway culture can include relationships,” says Omri Gillath, an associate professor in the University of Kansas’ psychology department. Gillath and Lucas Keefer of the University of Dayton co-wrote a study published last month in the journal Personal Relationships that found that frequently relocating and changing social circles is tied to a higher readiness to get rid of objects. This is also linked to perceiving friendships and romantic relationships as disposable.

So, should we worry about dating someone who’s moved around a lot?

It’s a potential warning sign, says Gillath, who notes:

“An Army brat could still be totally committed and serious in their relationships.”

If you are someone who tends to get rid of friends and lovers with regularity, you might want to rethink that behavior.


Living without high-quality connections who provide love, understanding, respect, safety and security “can negatively affect your mental and physical health,” says Gillath. “As well as your longevity.”