Being Really Into TV Romances Makes People a Little Weird About Real-Life Relationships

Illustration for article titled Being Really Into TV Romances Makes People a Little Weird About Real-Life Relationships

Having Nurse Betty-like faith in television romances, according to a particularly cynical new study probably carried out by classicists who want once and for all to defeat their romanticist rivals, will make people less committed to their real-life relationships because, when you really think about it, no real-life relationship will ever be half as fulfilling as what Zack Morris and Kelly Kapowski share with each other.

The study, led by Jeremy Osborn of Albion College, surveyed 392 married individuals about their relationship satisfaction, expectations of commitment, and abiding credulity when it came to scripted television romances in which both parties fall in love because their doing so makes for good entertainment. Participants who had a higher belief in TV romances were more likely to consider alternatives such as finding someone with better quips or being blithely single to their current arrangements.

A strong belief in TV romances also tended to make participates to place higher value on their relationship "costs" — sacrificed personal freedom, the unattractiveness of their current partner — than people who live in the flavorless real world. Believing that their relationship costs had more value, explained Osborn, is probably why people who believed in television romances didn't take that extra step and outright report dissatisfaction with their current relationships:

People with higher belief in television portrayals might see their relationships as more costly than their lower belief counterparts do, but because they also expected higher costs they are no less satisfied.


It's not that these television romantics are less satisfied overall in their relationships, but they seem to consider alternatives more often, thus making their own love lives as convoluted and melodramatic as TV romances. In other words, obsessing over whether Meredith and McDreamy will permanently co-mingle their bodies in network television bliss can make a person overly analytical when it comes to real-life relationships. Television romances might prove to people that relationships should be costly, and that a dull or lethargic partner is the television-equivalent of a doctor/lawyer who has resolved never to love again after his first wife died of malaria while the couple was fighting an oppressive African warlord. See? Television teaches us all kinds of applicable life lessons.

Belief in TV Romances Could Hurt Your Love Life [LiveScience]

Image via pics4sale/Shutterstock.

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I wish that I had read this when I was a shy, awkward teenager, reading my mothers old romance novels. Where is my brooding, handsome young Billionaire tycoon that watched his mother work her fingers to the bone scrubbing floors after his deadbeat father ran out on them? Instilling in him distrust for everyone and everything and making him a hard nosed, cut throat business man who worked his way from the bottom all the way to the top while he dated and bedded the worlds most beautiful supermodels but was still left feeling cold until he met, plain, unassuming little whoever and was captivated by her shy natured and slender frame supported by ample curves in all the right places? Their love was thwarted though, by his overprotective assistant and ex tennis pro/socialite Raphaella as she planted lies in his head about whoevers motives and in his mistrust and stupidity, he believed her. Only him showing up at whoevers rinky dink apartment unexpectedly and telling her how he'd fallen in love with her at first sight but was too afraid to tell her and thus treated her like trash brought them back together.

I mean, isn't this how love is supposed to be? What a letdown because all I attract now in my twenties are old men with long beards named Harley that look like they escaped from a chain gang or eighteen year old teenagers that like to wear their paints around their knees so that I can see the cracks of their behinds through their drawers. I want my billionaire.