Your love might actually make you stronger! At least, when it comes to staying faithful.
Some people claim they “only have eyes” for their one true love. And while we do tend to roll our own when people say this, it seems that they might be on to something.
Researchers at Rutgers University have discovered that our attraction to others may be affected by our relationship status.
The study, published in the Personality and Social Psychology Bulletin, and titled In the Eye of the Betrothed; Perceptual Downgrading of Attractive Alternative Romantic Partners (we just love it when they give these studies romantic names), is just the kind of manipulative, love-approving science we dig.
First the 131 somewhat-unsuspecting volunteers were told they were to be paired up with a new opposite-sex lab partner and shown a photo of the person. They were then shown 11 more photos, and asked to identify their likeness in the series. Unbeknownst to the volunteers, only one photo was the true image of their new lab buddy, and the rest were altered versions making the person either more or less attractive.
What researchers discovered was that, when those who were in relationships discovered that their new partner was single, they were more likely to select the less-attractive representation.
So, our brains are actually convincing us that, when we’re in loving relationships, our mate is that much more attractive than all the other fish in the sea. So, sorry, Khal Drogo, your scruffy facial hair and perfectly sculpted bod just aren’t nearly as attractive as we once thought now that we’re in a totally satisfying relationship.
Yeah, it can be difficult to understand why people stay together for so long, especially for a single person. And while we’re far from judging anyone’s relationship status, we are celebrating this recent discovery.
It’s a rare win for monogamy.
WATCH: While we’re on the topic of love and relationships, here is some adorable advice from married couples who know a thing or two from years of experience.