A new study set to be published in the Psychology of Popular Media Culture (via NYMag) suggests that failed romantic plotlines in sitcoms like How I Met Mother and Big Bang Theory subconsiously affect our ability to love. We internalize these flawed romances and, as a result, stop believing in true love, unless the object of our desires makes cupcakes because TED SHOULD’VE MARRIED CUPCAKE GIRL ALL ALONG.
The study, at least what was provided to NYMag, does not delve into how finding our true love only to lose her to death a few years later affects our perceptions of love, although apparently, it makes us all 44 percent more attracted to Cobie Smulders.
On the other end of the spectrum, those who watch rom-coms and romance-based reality shows like The Bachelor report a much higher belief in true love. “For romantic reality TV fans especially, the more they watched, the more strongly they believed in romance,” the study says.
This makes sense, although is it The Bachelor that bolsters romantic idealism, or are dippy romantic idealists more likely to watch The Bachelor and Katherine Heigl movies? Because I seriously doubt that cynics would suddenly be transformed into romantic idealists by a few episodes of The Bachelor (in fact, a few episodes of The Bachelor may turn some of us into serial killers). Methinks the study has it backwards: Romantic idealists seek out those shows which support their beliefs, while cynics watch How I Met Your Mother and complain because Barney and Robin’s divorce was dumb.
I also call bullsh*t on the study because Lily and Marshall’s marriage was basically the most romantic relationship on television.