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TV romance can impact on relationships

A study from Albion College in America has found a link between how much a person believes in television portrayals of romance and the level of commitment they have to their own relationships.

“In this study I found that people who believe the unrealistic portrayals on TV are actually less committed to their spouses and think their alternatives to their spouse are relatively attractive,” said Communication Studies professor Jeremy Osborn. “My hope would be that people would read this article and take a look at their own relationships and the relationships of those around them. How realistic are your expectations for your partner and where did those expectations come from?”

The study looked at the responses of married couples to questions about their relationship expectations and commitments, and their television viewing habits.

Osborn found that the more an individual believed in the television romance, the higher people believed their relationship costs were. Relationship “costs” include a person’s loss of personal freedom, loss of time, or their partner’s unattractive qualities.

“We live in a society that perpetually immerses itself in media images from both TV and the web, but most people have no sense of the ways those images are impacting them,” Osborn said. “The rate of marriage failure in the U. S. is not dropping, and it is important for people to have a sense of what factors are leading to the failure of so many relationships.”

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