Seeking real romance

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Have you ever explained issues you have with your partner to your friends, only for them to think they are not worth worrying about? Or have you seen a friend start a new romance with someone you think is completely unsuitable but they seem to go from strength to strength? One measures how much importance we put onto first impressions and early s of compatibility, while the other measures how likely we are to work through problems in relationships.

We might intuitively think of ourselves as more or less likely to believe in true love — but this is not something that we openly discuss with others or are conscious of when we start new relationships. Do you believe in love at first sight?

Or does it grow over time? Credit: Getty Images. Answer the following questions on a scale of one to seven, where one is strongly disagree and seven is strongly agree. In marriages, many people discover vs. It is extremely important that my spouse and I be passionately in love with each other after we are married. Now for scoring. First add your answers for 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 7, 9 and For questions 6 and 8, you need to subtract each answer from the 8 and use the new as your answer for that question.

Once you have your final total, divide by 10 to get your average for this scale. Success in a romantic relationship is based mostly on how much people try to make the relationship work. The questions in this quiz are taken from the Relationship Theories Questionnaire used by Renae Franiuk, of Aurora University, Illinois, in her research into implicit theories and relationship satisfaction and longevity.

When relationships are struggling, people who score more highly on the 'growth' scales cope best Credit: Getty Images.

Seeking real romance

We could call it something different to make people want to identify with these romantic beliefs. Now you have your score, what should you look out for? When relationships are struggling, people who score highly on growth scales cope best. In fact, the presence of a problem to work through can improve the strength of the relationship; couples who score highly on growth scales actually report feeling better about their relationship after a conflict has been worked through.

For these people, it might be necessary for small, fairly inconsequential, issues to arise in the relationship to keep the couple focused on working together. The more investments a couple make, the more committed they feel. They enjoy the challenge. For these reasons, growth believers will overlook big differences in compatibility. For them, compatibility might become more aligned with time — and that is something that is worth being worked on.

When they realise that someone isn't their soul-mate, "destiny" believers may abandon the relationship and "ghost" their partner Credit: Getty Images. The opposite is true for people with strong destiny beliefs, with some potentially toxic consequences. Worse still, they may exit the relationship in a less-than-charitable manner. Perhaps because the ghoster does not feel it is worth the investment to try to maintain the relationship if the other person is not ideal for them and does not see the benefit in providing feedback.

People with "destiny" beliefs about love tend not to discuss their relationship issues, which can lead to growing resentments Credit: Getty Images.

Seeking real romance

That could be positive for minor disagreements. And the consequences can be extremely serious. Destiny believers who have been together for longer are more likely to overlook issues, fooling themselves into thinking they are a better match because of the amount of time they have been together. They might give someone a longer chance than other people might. It would seem that romantic beliefs remain fixed over time. So, once a destiny believer, always a destiny believer.

Once people hit their 20s and 30s personalities are pretty stable. The "growth" beliefs about relationships tend to lead to better communication and greater long-term satisfaction. Problems can even make the couple stronger Credit: Getty Images. The two implicit theories do not need to be mutually exclusive, though. And we can still alter the ways we express those beliefs. We would expect that past experiences will shape how we approach new relationships. They say the course of true love never did run smooth — but a greater awareness of our own romantic tendencies might just help us navigate those bumps and turns along the way.

William Park is williamhpark on Twitter. Javier Hirschfeld created the artwork for this article.

Seeking real romance

In Depth Psychology. The dark side of believing in true love. Share using .

Seeking real romance

By William Park. Old-fashioned romantics might have the wrong idea about love. Strong beliefs in true love could be blinding you to both the good and bad in your partner, with sometimes toxic. Psychologists have found two scales that influence how we start and maintain relationships. To find out how you score, take the two quizzes below.

The Soul Mate scale Answer the following questions on a scale of one to seven, where one is strongly disagree and seven is strongly agree. There is a person out there who is perfect or close to perfect for me. I couldn't marry someone unless I was passionately in love with him or her.

Seeking real romance

There is no such thing as "Mr. Right" or "Ms. I expect my future husband or wife to be the most amazing person I have ever met.

Seeking real romance

People who are searching for a perfect match are wasting their time. Bonds between people are usually there before you meet them. The Work-it-out scale Answer the following questions on a scale of one to seven, where one is strongly disagree and seven is strongly agree.

In marriage, effort is more important than compatibility. In a relationship, love grows vs. If people would just put in the effort, most marriages would work. I could be happily married to most people, if they were reasonable. How well you know someone depends on how long you have known him or her.

If I were to marry a random person, I would be satisfied. Only over time can you really learn about your partner. To find out your score, add together your answers and divide by 9. For people who score well on the growth scales, a conflict can improve the strength of the relationship. Around the BBC.

Seeking real romance

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