A Grounded Theory Analysis of the Experience of Repeated Love Failure among Iranian Youth

Document Type : Research Paper


1 Department of Counseling, Faculty of Psychology and Educational Science, University of Kharazmi, Tehran, Iran.

2 Department of Counseling, Faculty of Psychology and Educational Science, Kharazmi University, Tehran, Iran.

3 Department of Counseling, Faculty of Psychology and Educational Science, University of Kharazmi. Tehran, Iran.

4 Department of Counseling, Faculty of Psychology and Educational Science. Kharazmi University, Tehran, Iran.


Using qualitative research grounded in theory, the purpose of this study was to investigate the various factors that influence repeated love failure. Based on the saturation principle, semi-structured interviews were conducted with 16 unattached boys and girls in Tehran in 2021 (6 boys and 10 girls) who had experienced at least two love failures. This study’s participants were selected using a targeted, snowball and available methodology. Strauss and Corben’s (1987) systematic analysis and three coding techniques—open, axial, and selective—were utilized to analyze the interviews. According to the results, the core concept of the model was determined to be emotional-impulsive choice, communication weakness, and love failure categories. Analyzed were the eight categories of recurrent love failure: selection and communication based on active and unhealthy goals, pathological dependence combined with anxiety, self-destruction and lack of self-compassion, lack of necessary preparations to lead the relationship to stable interaction, destructive and unstable interaction patterns, conflicting differences, unrealistic fears, and facilitator personality traits. There were two categories of risk factors (family dysfunction and absence of a specialized and effective social network guide). Interfering factors of recurrent love failure fell into two categories: lack of facilitators of right choice and constructive action, interfering skill deficiencies. The actions (strategies) were categorized into four groups: transitory and destructive emotional-cognitive actions, stable and destructive emotional-cognitive actions, destructive physical actions, and destructive behavioral actions. The consequences were divided into three categories: facilitators of correct choice and committed romantic relationship, absolute avoidance of romantic interactions, facilitators of incorrect choice, and re-failure of romantic relationship.


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