A Preoccupation with Romantic Love Can Limit Our Life Choices and Undermine Our Happiness by Bella Depaulo
(Link): A Preoccupation with Romantic Love Can Limit Our Life Choices and Undermine Our Happiness by Bella Depaulo
… Social scientists have sometimes contributed to our preoccupation with romantic love by focusing on that far more often than other kinds of love or other kinds of meaningful relationships.
Increasingly, though, researchers are documenting the potential downsides of an overinvestment in romantic love.
They are showing the ways in which (Link): romantic themes limit the aspirations of young women.
They are also showing that adolescents who get their wish and become romantically involved (Link): end up more depressed than adolescents who spend the same amount of time without any romantic relationships.
Adults, too – women, especially – sometimes find that (Link): their romantic relationships become more depressing over time.
…Love as the basis of marriage? That’s a fairly recent idea
We are accustomed to thinking of romantic love as the foundation for marriage, but historians have been informing us for quite some time that love marriages are a relatively recent phenomenon.
When Elaine Hatfield and Richard Rapson published Love & Marriage: Cross-Cultural Perspectives in 1996, they noted that “For most of Western history until the eighteenth-century, love was not expected to end well.” Instead, “passion was assumed to end in shame, humiliation, dishonor, suicide, and ruin in almost every early society.”
Evidence for the risks of caring too much about romantic love
How romantic images limit women’s aspirations
Why is it that so few women pursue careers in STEM fields (science, technology, engineering, and math), even when they show interest and talent in those areas? In part, the lure of romantic images and conversations and interests are to blame.
Do those clichéd romantic images of sunsets, romantic dinners, and candles seem innocuous? They aren’t. Research shows that when women in college see romantic images (instead of images of things that suggest intelligence, such as books and libraries), they express less interest in science and technology.
… For adolescents, romantic relationships are depressing
A nationally representative study of more than 8,000 adolescents (ages 12 – 17) in the U.S. were followed over the course of a year. The adolescents who become romantically involved got more depressed than those who did not – even if they stayed with the same person over the course of the year and didn’t break up.
Read that entire essay (Link): here