Ah, the transformative power of love: that lovely phenomenon of two hearts beating in tender unison, metamorphosing this bleak and mundane world into a reality that's actually pretty chill. According to a new scientific study, this is a measurable psychological occurrence that actually happens, and not something that the romance-industrial complex invented to trick you into seeing Endless Love in theaters.
According to a new study published in the Journal of Personality, being in Young Love (i.e., a romantic relationship when you are between the ages of 18 and 30) can have a positive effect on personality development; specifically, it's linked to a decrease in neuroticism. As Dr. Christine Finn, one of the study's lead authors, told Science Daily: "Neurotic people are rather anxious, insecure, and easily annoyed. They have a tendency towards depression, often show low self-esteem and tend to be generally dissatisfied with their lives." According to her findings, however, such people "become more stable in a love relationship, and that their personality stabilizes."
The study followed 245 couples for nine months, interviewing them individually at three-month intervals in order to evaluate both relationship satisfaction and degrees of neuroticism. They also had both partners evaluate fictitious everyday life situations re: their possible significance for their own partnership. Neurotic people tend to interpret ambiguous stimuli negatively and react more strongly to negatively stimuli, but the scientists found that this tendency decreases over time in a romantic relationship.
Science Daily has multiple explanations for this:
On the one hand, the partners support each other, according to Christine Finn. On the other hand, the cognitive level, i.e. the world of inner thought of an individual, plays a crucial role: "The positive experiences and emotions gained by having a partner change the personality — not directly but indirectly — as at the same time the thought structures and the perception of presumably negative situations change," Finn emphasizes. To put it more simply: Love helps us to tackle life with more confidence instead of seeing things pessimistically straight away.
In short, LOVE GIVES US THE POWER TO FACE THE WORLD WITH CONFIDENCE. Love is a splendid thing, love can change the way you apprehend the world, love can make you unlearn your negative thought-tendencies, etc. And here I thought I stopped sending my boyfriend psycho texts because I had just gotten lazy.