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Love Makes Everyone Else Less Attractive!!!

It is believed that the Irish playwright, Richard.B.Sheridan was so much in awe of the beauty of his beloved that he once requested her, “ Why don’t you come to my garden? I want my roses to see you.” We are sure that must have had a huge impact on the lady. On a more serious note, love, indeed, has that kind of effect on everyone of us. It is so powerful that it can help us resist the most irresistible temptations. This is what the researchers from the University of Los Angeles proved in their study. They were assisted by eHarmony, a dating service.

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The Study
The research was conducted on 120 heterosexual undergraduates. They all were in committed relationships. They were asked to look at the pictures of attractive people from the opposite sex. The researchers made it sure that only the most attractive photographs were shown. Then the participants were asked to choose the photograph of the person from the other gender whom they found the most attractive. Thereafter, the researchers asked the participants to write an essay on any one of the following topics:

  • Time they felt absolutely in love with their present partner (Love Group)
  • Time they were sexually attracted to their present partner (Sexual Group)
  • Anything they wished to write (Control Group)

While writing the essay the students were instructed not to think about the photograph of the attractive male/female. If they did so, they were asked to put a check on the margin of the essay. Later, they had to list the attributes they liked in the person whose picture they found attractive.

The Findings
The following findings were observed in the study:
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  • Undergraduates from the love group were six and four times less likely to think of the other person than those in the control group and sexual group respectively.
  • On an average,
    • People in the love group thought of the “other attractive” person once in every two pages;
    • People in the sexual group thought of the other person twice per page;
    • People from the control group thought about the other person about four times per page.

The Conclusion
According to Martie Haselton, Associate Professor of Psychology and Communication Studies, UCLA and the co-author of the study:

  • Love seems to put blinders on people.
  • People who are in love are able to push aside the thoughts of other good-looking people, even if the temptation is too high.
  • Love for the romantic partner makes all the others less attractive. This pushes all the tempting thoughts out of the mind.
  • Under normal circumstances, when one is asked not to think of a specific thing, one does exactly the opposite. It is a kind of a rebound effect. But this was not the case with the undergraduates in the love group. They had a tough time recollecting what they found attractive in the person whose photograph they had seen. They could recall only 2/3rd of the features.
  • People in love spend less time looking at beautiful members of the opposite sex.
  • Thus, love can eliminate the potential threat to the relationship.

Now we can say there is an element of truth in the Sinead O’Conner’s song “Nothing Compares to You….”

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