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).
Either this clown is wrong or there are a lot of people lying about my wife!
Reminds me of the movie, “The Other Guys” where Will Ferrel thinks his wife is the old lady, and his partner can’t believe she is attracted to him :>)
Sorry. I married the exact opposite of my mother in every way except both were physical beauties when young....my 65 yr. old wife has the figure of a teen (size 4 after 8 kids), while my mother has packed on the lbs. as she’s aged. I love my mother - but I don’t like her....selfish, self-centered, oblivious to needs of others, spoiled, stingy.
And I’m the polar opposite of my wife’s dad as well.
Mine is hairy, scary and ~nowhere~ near a ‘pretty boy’ [had one of those once...turned out to be worthless wife beater] but I wouldn’t trade my man for a hundred Tom Sellecks.
I look at him and see a darkly beautiful guardian angel.
Tonight in WalMart, some jackass asked hubby if I was his daughter.
If I’d heard it happening, [before “dad” took care of him] I’d have gut-hooked that maggot right there, much as I ripped the creep at a biker party who made a “Beauty & The Beast” crack, years ago.
[as if that fat wimpy slob had any room to talk..or a snowball’s chance in Hell]
For all that he’s not “pretty”, even after all these years I have to be watchful for the women who are charmed by his incredible “presence”.
“Looks” ain’t squat.
Pure animal magnetism trumps that, for square.
18 years later and I still go weak in the knees.
[even though I’m notoriously impossible to impress]
Maybe they simply know better than to criticize their spouse.
She is still the love of my life and apple of my eye and hope I am of hers.
Try telling that to Michael Douglas.
Even as a young woman/teenager I was never attracted to a pretty face. Good looks are a dime a dozen.
When I first met my husband I thought he was a neanderthal and an idiot. I had no interest in him. He swore way too much.
We were in the same group and I finally had the opportunity to get to know him. Very quickly, I realized that I’d misjudged him and began to see him for the wonderful person that he is. Once I saw the inner beauty, I allowed myself to be swayed by the exterior and, to me, he truly is the most attractive man that I know.
But when I look at him, I don’t see the wrinkles. I see the man who sat by my bedside, unmoving, for 18 hours straight after I had surgery. I see the wonderful father. I see the humble strength of a man who never brags, but simply gives 100% to everything that he does.
Today is our 21st anniversary and I am so grateful to be married to this beautiful man. Yes, in my eyes, he’s an eleven! :-)
A woman glows when she know she is truly and honestly loved!
(Celebrating 21 years with my deliciously ‘hairy beast’ today... I do so love a furry guy! lol!)
Congratulations on your anniversary!
Sounds as though you ~both~ “married well”.
I wish you many more happy years together!
That’s simply beautiful.
I wondered what the SOB that took my LuLu away looked like LoL. She is 650lbs of quivering love, I knew she cheated on me tho, one night I was kissing ob her an met another man coming from the other side
I forgot to post this this was our song.
Ya know this is a great site to visit I didnt know the family lost the copyrights to this song!
Frank Sinatra - One For My Baby
Disclaimer: Opinions posted on Free Republic are those of the individual posters and do not necessarily represent the opinion of Free Republic or its management. All materials posted herein are protected by copyright law and the exemption for fair use of copyrighted works.