Guess what? If you watch romantic movies and television shows, your thoughts and feelings about love and romance have likely been affected — whether you like it or not. Not only that, but they're even indicative of some people's expectations and behaviors in and out of relationships. Not that this is all that surprising, but some of the results actually are. Oh jeez!
According to a team of researchers from the University of Michigan led by Julia Lippman, certain types of media with a romantic bent are more often consumed by people with particular romantic tendencies and ideals. The study, published in the academic journal Psychology of Popular Media Culture, amassed 625 college students (more than half of which were female — 392 to be exact) and asked them questions about their television and film consumption habits. Of a list of 93 films, 17 sitcoms, and several marriage-focused reality programming, the students were asked which bits of media they regularly consumed and then conversely asked about their opinions on what love means to them. Turns out? RomCom enthusiasts are idealists, reality show watchers believe in perfect love at first sight, and TV sitcom watchers are skeptical curmudgeons. Really!
(We always knew we loved scripted television for a reason.)
Granted, the research is merely suggesting things that seem sort of obvious — minus that whole last bit, we suppose. But Lippman's point of doing the research was to essentially point out the patterns. And through that illuminate those idealists and curmudgeons out there to maybe take a long, hard look at how that might affect them.
"Previous research suggests that beliefs about relationships can have implications for relationship satisfaction and longevity," explained Lippman in an email to The Huffington Post. "[While] seeing your partner through rose-colored glasses is associated with higher levels of relationship satisfaction, ... seeing a partner who is bad news through rose-colored glasses (say, someone who is abusive) could have negative implications."
So, basically, you are what you watch. So you better watch out, particularly for yourself.