The more people believe in the portrayals of romance on TV, the less likely they are to be happy in their own relationships, according to a new study.
Sure, we all know that having a partner who loves watching back-to-back-football games or can’t get enough of the food channel can be a real bore if the love isn’t shared. But did you know that even if you share a common love of other TV shows, particularly if they include romantic portrayals, how much you buy-in to these shows could be just as devastating to your relationship.
Is what we watch what we want?
A group of researchers at Albion College in Michigan decided to study the impact of TV portrayals of romantic relationships on real-life relationships. They wanted to find out if the fictionalized portrayals we see on many TV programs might negatively affect our view of our own relationships.
“We live in a society that perpetually immerses itself in media images from both TV and the web, but most people have no sense of the ways those images are impacting them,” the study author Dr. Jeremy Osborn said.
Couples answer questions
The researchers enlisted 392 married couples and asked them a series of questions. The questions revolved around such issues as
- satisfaction with their current romantic relationship
- relationship expectations
- relationship commitment
- belief in television portrayals of romantic relationships
- viewing frequency and
- several others about their spousal relationship
The more we believe, the unhappier we are
What Osborn and his researchers discovered was that the more an individual believed in the TV romance, the higher they believed their relationship “costs” were. Osborn described these relationship costs as “a person’s loss of personal freedom, loss of time, or their partner’s unattractive qualities.”
“In this study I found that people who believe the unrealistic portrayals on TV are actually less committed to their spouses and think their alternatives to their spouse are relatively attractive,” Dr. Jeremy Osborn.
How healthy is a healthy relationship?
There are many physical and emotional benefits of a good relationship and turning off your TV can benefit both you, your relationships, and your health.