According to a recent study published in the Journal of Experimental Social Psychology scientists concluded through a series of experiments that:
• Framing love as perfect unity can hurt relationship satisfaction.
• It hurts relationship satisfaction only in conflicts, not in celebrations.
• This content dependency supports metaphorical framing, not metaphorical transfer.
• Metaphorical framing effects are limited to targets to which frames are applicable.
What does that mean in laymen’s terms? It means that when you fight, and you’re the kind of person who considers someone your “soul mate”, your relationship satisfaction will be negatively impacted much more than if you simply had an idealistic frame of your partnership – you’re two individuals on a parallel path. This makes perfect sense. Why?
If you truly believe in the Myth of Romantic Love you will have a greater crisis of confidence and question your faith whenever a fight occurs. When you frame your partnership more realistically and fight, you’ll simply wonder whether or not this person is right for you. So what are we to do?
A study published in the Journal of Personality and Social Psychology concluded, “that satisfaction is associated with idealistic, rather than realistic, perceptions of one’s partner”. In other words, it is imperative to focus on the positive and train yourself to idealize your partner. You must intentionally marginalize their shortcomings. But that doesn’t mean you should turn a blind eye to obvious issues. In this study researchers concluded that people who idealized their spouses when they married (focused primarily on their good qualities) were more likely to still be happy with their partner years later.
In my opinion these two studies suggest how important it is to maintain positivity, optimism and hope. However, considering the relationship preordained can detrimental. Balance your expectations and desires carefully or beware of the consequences.
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To read the Journal of Experimental Social Psychology study please click HERE.
To read the Journal of Personality and Social Psychology study please click HERE.
To read about The Myth of Romantic Love please click HERE.