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Why It’s OK To Let Your Partner’s Eyes ‘Wander’

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“Just as people want jobs they cannot have, salaries they cannot earn, and cars they cannot afford, people may desire attractive alternatives more and desire their current relationship partner less when they are placed in situations that limit their ability to attend to attractive alternatives.”

Ain’t that the truth!

If you really think about it, today’s society is obsessed with things they don’t or can’t have. We are always chasing the next best thing and it’s sickening how quickly we tire of what we have. This obsession paired with the idea that we are an ‘instant gratification’ culture to the fullest extent, makes it more and more difficult to not only find a significant other but keep them as well. In the same breath that we explain we want all these things, many people also realize that they’re not going to get it, so what’s the harm in looking?

Just because I look and admire a Benz doesn’t mean I’m going to buy it right? So just because someone admires another person doesn’t mean they’re going to cheat right?

The Journal of Personality and Social Psychology tested this thought with the following experiment. Researchers’ chose 42 undergraduate college students, 25 women and 17 men; 75% claimed they were in ‘committed relationships,’ the others were ‘casually dating,’ with a small minority being married. They were placed in front of computers that flashed two faces, one very attractive, the other just average. The experiment was rigged to have some of the student’s attention diverted from the attractive people by having the faces blocked out by a letter 80% of the time.

After the computer portion, participants answered questions about their level of relationship commitment, and their feelings about infidelity. The results found that those who were prevented from seeing the more attractive faces reported lower levels of relationship satisfaction and more positive attitudes towards infidelity. A follow-up experiment, using the same computer faces tactics, also proved that those who were restricted from the attractive faces were more likely to remember them when placed in a line-up, this is the ‘backlash’ they discussed from preventing wandering eyes.  Those that were allowed to view the attractive people were found to be happier in their relationships, and less likely to remember the good looking people.

“Being told simply not to look is probably NOT an effective strategy for boosting satisfaction and commitment or reducing interest in alternatives. To be sure, spending most of one’s time attending to attractive alternatives is not a boon to a good relationship. Probably the most effective solution involves working on enhancing relationship processes that naturally lead to decreased attention, such as focusing on positive aspects of one’s partner.”

What do you think? Research shows that allowing your partner to have ‘wandering eyes’ can be a good thing but do you agree?

If you ask me I trust the research! Allowing your spouse to ‘look not touch’ is perfectly healthy. As women we need to be more secure and realize, ‘he’s with you for a reason;’ confidence is a turn on, jealousy will send them running. Men, you need to be secure too, women want an overbearing and jealous boyfriend as much as you want to sit and watch a chick flick. There’s nothing wrong with admiring just make sure you stay within reason. My cardinal rule; cheating is defined as ‘anything you wouldn’t do if your spouse was sitting next to you, or anything that you would be mad seeing your spouse do.’ Admiring from a far is HARMLESS and research shows it only enhances the temptation. So ladies, don’t freak out when you see your man eyeing that girl in the bar, and men don’t trip when your woman scopes out that dude in the mall, because if you do, the results could be worse than the looks they give!

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