A new study published in the Journal of Personality and Social Psychology is shedding some new light on the “forbidden fruit” theory, which simply says that we want what we can’t have. Isn’t that the the core of human nature? As children, we wanted to play with any toy that was taken away from us. As adolescents, we wanted to do all the things we weren’t legally old enough for. So it stands to reason that as adults, we’re going to want to do the precise opposite of whatever it is we’re told not to do. Researchers in this study sought to find out whether the forbidden fruit theory worked the same way in romantic relationships, saying:
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.
And low and behold, the results of the experiment proved their hypothesis right. A set of three experiments were conducted on different groups of undergraduate students, some in committed relationships, some casually dating and a few either engaged or married. What the reseacrhers found was that “reining in a wandering eye leads people to devalue commitment and remember cute strangers better.” So you may want to think twice before slapping your boyfriend on the wrist for cocking his head at that hot girl who just walked by.
The argument can be made that if you’re in a committed relationship, then your partner shouldn’t even want to look at other people in that way. Well, I have to strongly disagree with that argument. Expecting a human being male or female not to notice another attractive person is virtually impossible. You don’t suddenly put blinders on just because you’re “in love.” Let’s be real we can all appreciate beauty when we see it. Frankly, I’d be a little worried if my boyfriend didn’t find any other woman attractive. Ladies, the thing to really take away here is that if you truly are in a committed relationship, then it shouldn’t worry you if your boyfriend notices another woman’s good looks. But if the lack of trust is so high that you can’t even let him look at another woman, then you may have bigger problems in your relationship than a boyfriend with a wandering eye.