By Regina Nuzzo, Special to the Los Angeles Times, July 25, 2011
If Cupid wanted to improve his game with science, he’d shoot first, then hand out rose-colored glasses with instructions attached:
To be worn when viewing your relationship and your partner’s personality or body.
For best results, keep using well after “I do.”
Remove carefully at your own risk.
Psychologists have long known that new love can be blind and new lovers delusional. Research has shown that newlyweds exaggerate their partner’s good qualities, forget the bad ones, rate their own relationship with annoying superiority and so on.
But newer research tantalizingly suggests that this myopia is good for more than driving your single friends crazy. Some happy delusions may actually be better for the long-term health of a relationship than hewing to a sober and accurate view of your sweetheart.
Really? After all, common sense (and many a bitter veteran of marriage) would warn that just the opposite was true — that the higher you climb, the harder you fall after the honeymoon wears off. Wouldn’t the starry-eyed, smugly optimistic folks be the most crushed when they wake up and realize that theirCinderella is really a chambermaid, their knight in shining armor actually a fat guy on a pony?
Not according to the evidence. Blinder is often better, it turns out. “Positive biases and happiness seem to push each other along,” says Garth Fletcher, psychology professor at Victoria University of Wellington in New Zealand.