Love Hurts Those Who Feel Left Out

If You’re in Love, Watch Out for the Jealousy of Others

Maybe you’ve noticed this: You fall head over heels in love, and you’re on an all-time high. But now the second impulse sets in: the one where you suddenly feel like the external world is threatening your relationship. This feeling can be overwhelming for many, often leading not only to seeing attractive people around your mate as threats, but also to incredible feelings of jealousy in some cases.

Researchers just dug into these feelings, and came up with some surprising results.

Livescience reports:

The singers who croon “Love Hurts” are right — but it’s not just jilted partners and unrequited romantics who are at risk. It turns out that romantic love can also burn innocent third parties to a relationship.

People who are primed to think about how madly in love they are with a partner put down other appealing members of their own sex, and are even more aggressive toward them, compared with people who are instead encouraged to ponder sex with a significant other, according to new research presented here last week at the annual meeting of the Society for Personality and Social Psychology.

“Love, arguably the most positive of all human emotions, also comes with a dark side,” study researcher Jon Maner, a psychologist at Florida State University, told reporters at the meeting.

Rating others

In a trio of studies involving 130 people in long-term relationships, Maner and his colleagues found that to protect their own commitment to their partner, people would lash out at potential threats. In the first study, researchers asked students at Florida State University in long-term relationships to write about either a time when they felt intense love for their partner or a time when they felt intense sexual desire for the person — both positive relationship-related experiences. Next, the students looked at pictures of either an attractive or an unattractive man or woman, followed by a picture of a Chinese character. They were then asked to rate the appeal of the character; since the Chinese character is neutral, this question was meant to gauge the participants’ leftover feelings about the real target of the study — the pictures of the men and women.

The students also filled out questionnaires about their basic levels of jealousy, answering questions such as, “How likely are you to surprise-visit your partner to see who is with him/her?”

The results showed that jealous sorts and more laid-back types rated the characters as about equally attractive when they’d thought of intense sexual desire for their partner. But when they thought about intense love for their partner, the jealous sorts suddenly became very negative about other attractive people, rating them much less appealing.

What do you think—what effects can jealousy have on people in relationships?

“Real trust takes real time.” – Reed ext. 5105

“Honesty is an important component in any relationship.” – Giovanna ext. 5214

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2 thoughts on “Love Hurts Those Who Feel Left Out

  1. Rukiye

    I have to agree with Jacques, I do find the Prodigy are slightly over rated for the almbus since Experience, they were definate pioneers back in the day and Liam is very talented but I don’t think the following almbus lived up to Experience. This tune as with all the tunes on Experience are strong candidates in their own right and together as an album mind blowing, but I just don’t have that same appreciation for their following work, it could be just me perhaps I don’t like the route . cont

  2. arise

    Usually like this author’s work but … did the same person write the headline? It contradicts the position stated in the article. The headline says being in love draws injury from jealous third parties. The article says being in love increases the lovers’ willingness to hurt a third party, in order to protect their relationship from a perceived threat.


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