A Preoccupation with Romantic Love Can Limit Our Life Choices and Undermine Our Happiness by Bella DePaulo

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

Related Posts:

(Link):  I’m 37, I Might Be Single For Ever — and I’m Happy With That by Aimée Lutkin

(Link): Authors at The Federalist Keep Bashing Singleness in the Service of Promoting Marriage – Which Is Not Okay

(Link): BreakPoint Unfortunately Pushing the False and Un-Biblical “Society Needs Marriage and the Nuclear Family” Rhetoric (and I say this as a Conservative)

(Link):  Craigslist confessional: I’m in my 40s, never married, and a virgin—but I’m happy by Abigail

(Link): Myths About Never Married Adults Over Age 40

(Link):  How the ‘Solo’ Movement is Rewriting Misconceptions of ‘Sad, Lonely’ Single Life

(Link): I Married Young. I Was Widowed Young. I Never Want A Long-Term Partner Again by R. Woolf

(Link):  Adult Singles Do Not Need A Marital Partner to Be Whole or Complete

(Link): Research: Being Single [or Fear of Being Single] is a Meaningful Predictor of Settling for Less in Relationships 

(Link): Single Adult Christian Pressured Into Marriage by Her Church – And Regrets It

(Link): Do You Feel Shame About Being Single? By John Amodeo, PhD

(Link):  Getting Married Is Not an Accomplishment by N. Brooke

(Link):  Do You Need a Partner to Have a Happy Life? by D. LaBier

(Link):  I’m in My 40s, Child-Free and Happy. Why Won’t Anyone Believe Me? By Glynnis MacNicol

(Link): Dear Prudence: Help! I’m Glad My Awful Husband Is Dead.

(Link): Unmarried and Childless Women Are the Happiest, Happiness Expert Claims

(Link): Why Being Single Sucks: What No One Wants to Talk About, by B. Smith

(Link): What is a Platonic Life Partnership? These Couples are Breaking Societal Relationship Norms

(Link): Four in 10 Adults Between the Ages of 25 and 54 are Single, Up From 29% in 1990

(Link): What You Lose When You Gain a Spouse – What if marriage is not the social good that so many believe and want it to be? by M. Catron

(Link):  What If Marriage Is Overrated? – A social psychologist has been chipping away at many claims about marriage changing one’s life for the better

(Link): Can We Stop Saying Singleness is God’s Will? by Anonymous via Sheila Wray Gregoire

(Link): Woman Wildly Happy She Got Divorced (Dear Abby Column)

(Link): Many Single People are Quite Happy that Way Researchers Discover (2015 study)

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