When it comes to relationships and romance, there are just way too many “rules.”
If you’ve just had your first date, you must wait 2-3 days before you call or send a text. If you’re having a fight, it doesn’t bode well for your relationship. If you’ve had a breakup, pen down your feelings for them to “magically” disappear – the list goes on and on!
Unfortunately (or fortunately), if we do just a teensy bit of digging around in the science behind love and dating, we will actually find that most of these so-called “rules” and “laws” are actually just based on pure stereotypes and misconceptions.
So, in this spirit, we’ve decided to bust the 5 most common (and silly) dating myths, and we’ve even explained just why they’re all out wrong. Read on!
1. Myth: Men Dislike Women Who Ask Them Out First
The dating website Match.com reported that only as little as 18% of straight women actually made the first move by initiating conversation with straight men on their website (1). Now, if this is because women are afraid of being branded as “bossy” or “fast,” well, here’s a wakeup call for you: According to another survey conducted by Match.com, it was discovered that 90% of men in the USA (and not just from Match.com) claimed that they’d be very comfortable if a woman was the one to ask them out first.
So, don’t believe us if you want. But believe the statistics!
2. Myth: Simply Journaling Your Post-Breakup Thoughts Can Help You Move On
A journal full of tear-stained entries isn’t necessarily the go-to solution for mending your broken heart. As a matter of fact, according to a study conducted in 2012, those individuals who recently had a breakup actually felt emotionally worse when they penned down their breakup thoughts (2).
Yikes. Talk about being counter-productive!
But if you depend upon words to untangle inner emotional conflicts, there’s still hope. According to some new research, a very specific sort of journal entry can very well help you get over your ex, and it’s called a “redemptive narrative” (3). Basically, it’s a story that narrates how you turned your sorrow and pain into a positive learning experience.
3. Myth: Interested In Someone? Make Your Feelings Instantly Clear
Since we’re all mature adults here – shouldn’t we just stop beating around the bush and let the one we like simply know that we’re interested, and ask if they happen to be too?
Well, not exactly. There have been multiple studies conducted on this subject and they all suggest the same findings: playing “hard to get” upon the first encounter is a more effective method of enticing someone rather than the good ol’ “honesty is the best policy.”
Case in point: a 2014 study concluded that men were more interested in chasing women who acted disinterested in their pursuit – but this was only if the men felt committed to liking the women (4).
And this gets even weirder. According to the study, even though these men wanted the disinterested women even more whilst they played hard to get, on the other hand, they admitted to liking such women less. Huh.
4. Myth: Over Time, You Will Know Your Partner Inside-Out
After a few years of dating, you might begin to feel as though you know just about everything about your partner: their go-to toothpaste, their favorite TV series that they binge-watch guiltily, and even the foods that cause them to gag.
But this doesn’t mean that years spent together automatically equals to knowing everything there is to know about your partner. According to a study conducted in 1997, those couples who’d been with each other for longer claimed more confidence in knowing each other well. However, it was discovered that the length of a couple’s relationship wasn’t actually associated with the accuracy of their knowledge (5).
Even when the study volunteers had to guess just how much their partners would rate themselves on athleticism, attractiveness, and intelligence, they only guessed correctly 3 out of 10 times.
5. Myth: Women Are Much More Romantic Than Men
It’s a commonly held (and quoted) misbelief that just because women read more Mills & Boon and enjoy romcoms much more than men, they’re obviously the more romantic lot. Even a 2011 study discovered that, in general, people believe that women are usually the first to bravely confess their love whilst in a heterosexual relationship (6).
However, when the researchers of this study proceeded to ask the study volunteers just who it was who said the fateful “I love you” first in their relationship, it was discovered that it was actually men who did so most of the times – roughly 3 out of 4 times to be exact!
It’s time to let go of all the silly old “rules” of love we’ve been taught. Share this post if you agree!
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