‘If you’re truly in love or committed to your relationship, it’s much easier to stay faithful’ - seems pretty obvious, right?!
A new study from researchers at New York University and Rutgers University found that when people are trying to protect the sanctity of their monogamous relationship, they will internally conduct what we’re calling a ‘perceptive downgrade’ of potentially attractive people – put simply – someone you may have considered attractive when you were single suddenly becomes less attractive now that you’re in a good relationship.
It’s almost sweet in a way doesn't it?
Researchers who carried out the study said, “People in relationships perceived threatening attractive individuals as less attractive than did single participants” “The effect was exacerbated among participants who were highly satisfied with their current relationships.”
Why do those in happy relationships downgrade people that their single counterparts would probably find more attractive?
It’s a natural reaction, a psychological way of protecting our relationships. If you only have eyes for your significant other, you really only have eyes for your significant other. This psychological guard can protect your relationship and prevent eyes straying elsewhere if you’re deeply in love with your partner.
That’s the good news, now for the sad news…
Unfortunately, the effect is reversed if you’re unhappy with your relationship. If you’re not happy or feeling loved in your current relationships you’re much more likely to agree with your single friends that that guy or girl is pretty good looking.
This got us thinking; do some people not only downgrade attractive people, but also treat them differently to avoid giving off the wrong signals? Perhaps! And what about celebrities? For some of us, Ryan Gosling will be attractive no matter how happy we are in our current relationship – and who can blame you!?
Science can’t explain everything all of the time we guess!