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It's a Fact: Love Makes You Delusional

Smitten, Glamour Magazine
Love + Sex
March 4, 2013


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.

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Being 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 feeling at a later check-in. 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 says 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.

Do you stay mad at your guy for a long time? Or like the trusting participants, do you tend to gloss over it as time goes by?

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