Bachelor fans, beware: A new study from Albion College found that the more someone believes that the relationships they see portrayed on television are real, the less committed they are to their own relationship.
Researchers spoke with more than 390 married couples and asked them questions about their TV-viewing frequency and beliefs regarding televised romances as well as their commitment and feelings about their current relationship.
“In this study I found that people who believe the unrealistic portrayals on TV are actually less committed to their spouses and think their alternatives to their spouse are relatively attractive,” Dr. Jeremy Osborn, the article’s author said. “My hope would be that people would read this article and take a look at their own relationships and the relationships of those around them. How realistic are your expectations for your partner and where did those expectations come from?”
Another intriguing snippet from the study:
The research also discovered that the more an individual believed in the television romance, the higher people believed their relationship costs were. Relationship “costs” include a person’s loss of personal freedom, loss of time, or their partner’s unattractive qualities.
So in other words, you think the person responsible for your own unhappiness is your partner. Which is a toxic belief to hold onto, to say the least.
The findings remind us our recent interview with Dana Adam Shapiro, author of You Can Be Right (or You Can Be Married), when he said, “I think people get a lot of their information from entertainment. So they’re getting their cues and role models from fictional portrayals of women and men, dating and love, and we’re forgetting these aren’t documentaries; these are movies. There aren’t Martians. And there aren’t marriages like that either.”
Good to keep in mind when you’re swooning over Emily and Jef.
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