Entries in romance (8)


Debunking 6 Myths About Men, Women, and Their Relationships

When it comes to the behavior of men and women in relationships, almost everyone has an opinion—and usually, it's about how the sexes are different. But what does the research tell us about how men and women really behave in romantic relationships? Often, that they're more alike than we think, and that our common assumptions are wrong. 

Let’s examine six common myths...

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Men’s and Women’s (Not So) Different Attitudes about Romance and Sex

There is a common assumption that men and women are very different and perhaps originate from different planets. Although the “males and females are fundamentally different” narrative may be the prevailing opinion, it is science’s duty to determine whether these ideas are common sense or common nonsense. The “men and women are different” idea is perhaps most pervasive with respect to individuals’ thoughts about sex and romance. Common knowledge suggests that men are hypersexual and women are more reserved, but when it comes to romance, women are much more enthusiastic than men. Findings from survey research seem to support these general assumptions.1,2 With surveys, however, participants report their own feelings, so it may be that participants feel pressure to conform to existing stereotypes. Rather than ask men and women how they consciously feel, in order to get to their true feelings, two University of New Brunswick researchers measured participants’ unfiltered feelings by tapping into their automatic responses.3 The researchers hypothesized that participants unfiltered responses may not conform to existing stereotypes.

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Firewood, Rice, and Fairy Tales: Ideas about Love in the US and China

“Marriage is mostly just firewood, rice, oil, soy sauce, vinegar, and tea.” -Chinese proverb 

Although China’s rising ‘love culture’ has borrowed many foreign ideas, such as teen dating and Valentine’s Day (see my last article), China’s romantic relationships hardly mirror Western ones. Young Chinese are usually free to choose their spouses, but they are not free to linger long in singlehood. If a woman hits her late 20s without a husband, everyone calls her a shèngnǚ (剩女) or “leftover woman” — a label invented by the government in 2007. Faced with mounting social pressure from parents and colleagues, today’s Chinese singles commonly marry because it is “time,” not because they are in love. 

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The Music of Relationships

As you sit down for a romantic dinner with your partner, you’ve thought of everything: great food, fine china, candles, and a nice bottle of wine.  Now you just need a little music to set the mood, so you put on Eminem’s “Lose Yourself.”  This will certainly set a mood (i.e., confusion), but probably not the mood (i.e., romance). Clearly you should have gone with something like “At Last” by Etta James, or perhaps “In Your Eyes” by Peter Gabriel (boom box and all).

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Redbox and the Most Romantic City in the United States

I was both surprised and pleased to learn that I am living in the most romantic city in America! Where is this love utopia, you ask? It’s none other than Greensboro, North Carolina. 

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Are Romance Novels "Addictive"?

One of the things we like to do here at Science of Relationships is to let you know when we see relationship “mis-information” being pushed out there in media-land. Here’s a good one!

Recently, a major national newspaper contacted us for our views on an op-ed piece written by Kimberly Sayer-Giles, who recently was named one of the top 20 “Advice Gurus” by Good Morning America (ABC News). 

The article, Romance Novels Can Be As Addictive As Pornography, makes some profound claims and got a few of us lusting to answer back!

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The Office Romance: Falling in Love at Work

Employees who observed more workplace romance also perceived greater workplace sexualization such as flirting and innuendo. 42% had observed a workplace romance at some point at their current job. Romances occurred more frequently when there was high sexualization and male-female contact. However, male-female contact alone did not increase workplace romance.

Salvaggio, A. N., Streich, M., Hopper, J. E., & Pierce, C. A. (2011), Why do fools fall in love (at work)? Factors associated with the incidence of workplace romance. Journal of Applied Social Psychology, 41, 906–937. doi: 10.1111/j.1559-1816.2011.00741.x


Regretting Lost Loves and Missed Opportunities

A new study revealed that 1 in every 5.5 people think of a missed or lost romance when asked about regret. Regrets about romance were listed most frequently – more than family issues, career decisions, and educational opportunities, with women more likely to have romance regrets than men. 

Morrison, M., & Roese, N. J. (in press). Regrets of the typical American: Findings from a nationally representative sample. Social Psychological and Personality Science.  doi: 10.1177/1948550611401756