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The Heart Beat The Heart Beat blog

Love makes you delusional

But that's actually a good thing!

By Glamour Magazine Mar 6, 2013 7:21PM
By Gena Kaufman

It’s a big pile of duh that trust is important in a relationship, but a new study shows it may be important in a way you might not have thought. Trust makes you kind of delusional, and it turns out, that’s great for your relationship.

Photo: Love makes you delusional / Valentin Casarsa/Getty ImagesBeing delusional doesn’t sound particularly healthy, but in this case it is. It essentially causes people to forget the bad times in a relationship. Here’s how the mental shift works: Students in relationships were asked to report their partner’s screw-ups over a course of six months, like not being supportive or forgetting to make Valentine’s plans (whoops!), rating them for severity and forgiveness and then re-evaluating their feelings at a later check-in.

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Participants who reported high levels of trust and commitment tended to forget their anger about their partner’s transgressions over time, with memories getting rosier, but the opposite happened for those who didn’t trust their significant other.

And rather than be concerned that being too trusting might make you willing to accept bad behavior, researchers say it’s very healthy because it signals that despite a problem, you feel confident enough in your relationship to depend on a partner and trust him to look out for your interests. For those who didn’t trust, feeling angrier than before about the bad behavior was probably a way to protect themselves from hurt by distancing themselves.

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The average age of participants was 18, but researchers expect the same results from older adults. And it does make sense, right? Inevitably, we all screw up and do crappy things to the people we love, so if we weren't able to conveniently forget it, no relationship would survive.

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Photo: Love makes you delusional / Valentin Casarsa/Getty Images

19Comments
Mar 8, 2013 8:38PM
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"The average age of participants was 18, but researchers expect the same results from older adults."  Why do they think this?  The brain isn't even done growing until you are about 25!
Mar 7, 2013 7:11PM
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The Spanish words for boyfriend and girlfriend are novio and novia. No vio means didn't see, no via means wasn't seeing.  

 

 

Mar 7, 2013 6:27PM
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No surprise here, I lost count of my delusions when I thought I was in love.
Mar 7, 2013 6:21PM
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What a crock this is - if one of the spouses screws over the other one, it's not a matter of "forgetting" or having a "rosier" outlook on the relationship after time, it's learning your lessons about the other person so that you won't have to go through the same thing again. Just because someone screws up one time doesn't mean they won't do it again. It just means they will be more careful about getting caught the next time they do it.  Women are basically the same as men and act out the way they were brought up. If they were brought up in a distrusting home and they realized there was cause to believe the distrust was just, that person will take that as a lesson learned and keep it with them the rest of their lives. Thus, if a woman perceives that it is ok to have affairs as she pleases, she is most likely re-living what she learned while she was growing up. Marriage vows and loyalty won't be important, and her sense of values won't necessarily be based on what she claims to believe in religiously. It's a lot easier to stay out of a relationship than it is to get out of one, for multiple reasons, none of which are related to "love."
Mar 7, 2013 6:11PM
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When it comes to trust, forgiving and forgetting, this is the way I have been all of my life with all of my family members.  Not just when in regard to relationships.  Actually, when it comes to relationships, I have done the same thing, but I consider the "negative" much more severe and I will quickly remember "all the bad" if additional negative instances occur. 

Not a great deal of educated study appears to support this article.

Mar 7, 2013 5:50PM
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i had a brother-in-law tht was married 5 times, in my mind that qualified him as a tour guide in hell. Yes he had to be delusional, especially after the first one!
Mar 7, 2013 5:49PM
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So that's how my husband I have lasted 30 years?  or maybe we have been so darned busy that we don't have time to remember much....probably better to focus on life in general rather than one person so that things good or bad don't get magnified out of porpotion in relation to that one person.  In other words, even if you are married or in a relationship,  you still need to have a life.

Mar 7, 2013 5:38PM
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LOL! ..18 years old students...talking about trust...pointless and useless study...
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