Skip to comments.Beauty really is in the eye of the beholder: Your other half's not as attractive as you think
Posted on 08/09/2011 7:56:01 PM PDT by Tolerance Sucks Rocks
Love really is blind when it comes to physical flaws, it would seem.
Research suggests that we view our loved ones through rose-tinted glasses that overlook the crooked noses, bulging tummies or other attributes that might put others off.
As a result, husbands and wives think their other halves are more attractive than they really are.
The phenomenon could help explain some apparently physically mis-matched couples such as the glamorous Beyonce and Jay-Z, the striking Lara Stone and David Walliams, or the statuesque Sophie Dahl and the diminutive Jamie Cullum.
The positive illusion theory comes from researchers who asked 70 couples to rate their other halves for attractiveness.
Questions included how attractive their husband, wife, boyfriend or girlfriend was to the opposite sex, and how they rated compared with others of the same age. The answers were kept confidential to prevent any partners taking umbrage.
Some of those taking part also rated photos of their partners. In addition, members of the public judged the looks of all 140 men and women taking part. The results revealed that couples view their other halves as being better looking than they really are.
Even asking them to rate pictures of their partners did not give them a reality check, the Journal of Social and Personal Relationships reports.
With previous studies finding that we view our loved ones as being kinder and brainier than they actually are, it does seem that love is blind in all sorts of ways.
The researchers at the University of Groningen in the Netherlands said: During the course of a romantic relationship, partners will frequently uncover sources of negativity or conflict that may raise the fear that their partner is not the right person after all.
Such doubts about the partner are troublesome because negativity typically surfaces when the individuals have already invested in their relationship.
In order to reach some resolution between their hopes and doubts, and sustain a sense of security, partners often weave an elaborate fictitious story that both embellishes a partners virtues and minimises his or her faults.
By means of these positive illusions, partners may enhance their sense of security, overstate the case of commitment and derogate alternative partners, thus stabilising their long-term bond.
Being blind to a partners physical faults can make it easier to take criticisms about them with a pinch of salt and make it easier to resist the charms of the office Lothario.
But having inflated ideas about your partners desirability can also cause jealousy, as well as lead to people staying in unhappy marriages.
Those studied were relatively young and had been together on average for just two and a half years.
The researchers said that more work is needed to see if those in long marriages are still blind to their partners physical flaws.
They said: It is possible that positive illusions are much stronger in the beginning of the relationship when partners are still in love and tend to idealise each other strongly.
Likewise, positive illusions may be stronger when people are younger and, as a consequence, relatively attractive.
No linkie in postie.
But my dogs always seem to be the cute ones....
As I recall, Jung said this many years ago.
H. L. Mencken
It’s less a case of love being blind than beauty being only skin deep.
It’s sad the researchers didn’t seem to understand that.
I thought it was “Beauty is in the eye of the beer holder.”
My ex wife was a real knockout when we married, but she let herself go after awhile, so I got rid of her.
Only "researchers" see only the physical.
People in a relationship see beyond the physical, by definition.
Only Leftists, looking for ways to split up loving relationships, would try to think of ways to convince people to doubt the beauty they perceive in each other's hearts, negate it from their perception, and re-perceive those they love as "flawed" or "ugly" based on the researchers rules of interpretation.
Evil is where you find it.
Oh crappie. Could somebody please add the linkie? Thanks.
It might be true..I just stare at women’s chests.
My wife’s other half is great looking and intelligent, to boot.
Chin up! Eyes straight!
And the opposite is true about divorced spouses.
All I know is that I have a really hard time having an eye to eye conversation with my wife. The rest of her is terribly distracting.
Mr. Gun is an adonis....and always will be.
I haven't a clue as to what women see in men...never have had.
I think I have an idea what men see in women. Therefore, I can be confident in saying any married man who isn't married to the most beautiful woman God ever created must have been blind drunk when he too his vows. Either that or he's an idiot.
That's one of the freebies God said we could take from the Garden when we were evicted. He made it possible for every man on earth, when he connects, to connect to the most gorgeous lass extant. When any man fails to open that gift, it's wasted.
I have always believed (going back to the 1950s) that a man looks for a woman who probably resembles his mother as he remembers her from early childhood, while a woman decides, at a certain time in her life, to marry - - and takes whatever is immediately available. (Well, it happened to me).
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