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Busted: Science Debunks Some Of The Most Common Ideas About Relationships

Barring a few (and I mean really few) exceptions, almost every being on the planet believes ‘men are from Mars and women from Venus.’ So much has been said about how men and women differ from each other that any attempt to deflate these perceptions would be almost akin to refuting universal truths. What- I said, almost!

But since my job is to serve nothing but the truth on the page, here we go. Science backs me up while I go about busting some of the most common ideas and relationship myths about men, women, and their romantic relationships:

Myth 1: Women are more romantic than men.

couple in love

Image source: Google, copyright-free image under Creative Commons License

Yes, there goes my belief system down the drain. Women are, in fact, NOT any more romantic than their male counterparts. As hard as that may be to gulp, the popularly used scale of romanticism called the Romantic Beliefs Scale has assessed people’s agreement quotients with statements like “There will only be one real love for me,” and, “If I love someone, I know I can make the relationship work, despite any obstacles” and found men to outscore women participants! Shocked? I am still recovering too!

Myth 2: Men value looks much more than women.

couple in love

Image source: Google, copyright-free image under Creative Commons License

Now, now- don’t you faint already! I received this jolt right after the first one kicked in. Research suggests that it isn’t just the male members who fuss and fret over looks but that female counterparts place a high premium on physical appearance too. Studies and surveys have shown that while men seem to express a blatant interest in the looks of a potential romantic partner and value it a wee bit more than women, actual dating choices suggest that both men and women are equally besotted with looks.

Suggested read: 12 things you MUST know if you’re considering an open relationship

Myth 3: Women aren’t interested in casual sex.

couple in bed

Image source: Pixabay, under Creative Commons License

After two big ones down, this was needed. Time to catch my breath. This, we know, is a big, fat lie. While it is true that men are more interested in and willing to accept casual sex offers, the seeming disinterest of women has been reported owing to two facts: one, it still is socially unacceptable for women to admit to an interest, let alone propose and execute casual sex and two, women are just way more pickier than men when it comes to such encounters. However, it has been found that there are no major differences in men’s and women’s interest in casual sex- as the proposition of a one-nighter is the least common kind of casual sex encounter. Most such encounters happen in the context of casual dating, friendship or hook-ups with exes- which report an equal engagement from men and women.

Myth 4: Men and women have vastly different approaches to relationships.

couple holding hands (10)

Image source: Pixabay, under Creative Commons License

John Gray said Men are from Mars, women from Venus and we lapped it up. But seems like this universal truth of sorts is light years away from the truth. While there are obvious gender differences, focusing on them when dealing with relationships tends to lead to lesser understanding between partners. Research shows that men and women seem to place a high premium on certain characteristics when choosing a romantic partner and want very similar things from the proposed relationship too!

Suggested read: 10 must-know relationship advice for modern men

Myth 5: Men and women handle relationship conflict differently.

couple talking

Image source: Google, copyright-free image under Creative Commons License

Science says relationship conflicts, apart from being settled with apt communication, are dealt with a destructive demand/withdraw pattern where one partner demands a discussion of the conflict while the other withdraws from it. The more a demander pushes an issue, the more a withdrawer retreats, only causing the demander to become more intent on discussing the issue, and creating a vicious cycle that leaves both partners frustrated. But research has shown that the demander/withdrawer roles are just as reversible and depend on who wants the change. Good news, eh?

Now, go, spread the word!

Featured image source: Google, copyright-free image under Creative Commons License

Article Name
Science Debunks Some Common Relationship Myths
Some 'truths' about relationships are big, fat lies! And science debunks these relationship myths.
Sejal Parikh

Sejal Parikh

"I'm a hurricane of words but YOU can choose the damage I do to you..."