Watching Rom-Coms and Sitcoms Will Change Your Expectations For Love

This may not come as a surprise, but it at least ought to give you pause. A new study to be published in Psychology Of Popular Media Culture says that, yes, the type of romantic shows you watch does affect your outlook on love. University of Michigan researchers found that if you’re the type to watch shows like The Bachelor, you’re more likely to believe in “The One” and love at first sight and choosing who you’re going to marry based on a gameshow. Romantic stuff like that.

However, not all television shows are created equal. Fans of slightly more cynical sitcoms like How I Met Your Mother and The Big Bang Theory are acquainted with the cold ways of the world, and do not expect life to serve up a steaming pile of true love at every turn. Basically, the more you watch shows that promise One True Love—like The Bachelor—the more likely you are to believe in it. The more you watch sitcoms that feature a frequently revolving door of dating relationships, the less likely you are to be on the lookout for The One. Or, as The New Yorker puts it: “Even if we aren’t aware of it, the researchers argue, we internalize the messages we hear on TV or in films” …

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