LONDON, March 22, 2018 /PRNewswire/ --
One in seven Brits displays signs of 'romantic fatalism', potentially contributing towards a more passive approach to finding love.
This is according to a new social science study from the experts at eharmony, who in collaboration with a cognitive psychologist from Queen Mary University of London, explored how representations of love in popular culture have impacted modern romantic expectations and behaviours.
The researchers applied a self-efficacy questionnaire - which measured how far people believe their own actions can result in a positive outcome when seeking a relationship. Further questions measured 'romantic fatalism', the view that fate will deliver people their own Prince or Princess Charming.
The results showed that people who most strongly believe in the role of fate in romance are 18% less likely to be in a relationship than people who had a low fatalism score.
Cognitive Psychologist, Dr. Magda Osman from Queen Mary University of London, who assisted with the study, comments: "The general message from the findings is that cultural influences inform the way people think about love, and how they seek it out. For some, fate might be the guiding force that they rely on to find love. The consequence of this is taking a less active role in making the first steps to achieving a romantic relationship."
Looking in more detail at the characters people in the survey considered 'most romantically influential', protagonists from fairytales including Beauty and the Beast, Snow White and Cinderella all featured in the top ten. The three female leads are well known in popular culture and their largely passive approach to finding love could be argued to have contributed to the views of people affected by romantic fatalism.
Rachael Lloyd, relationship expert at eharmony comments: "While we may think that fairytales are harmless childhood stories, this study suggests they can influence the way we approach love and relationships in later life. As we know, these kinds of narratives are often highly-fatalistic and involve female characters effectively waiting to be swept off their feet.
"At eharmony, we know that finding love can be hard and that singles often end up feeling disillusioned. We've spent over 20 years understanding why some relationships work and others don't. And while you might be lucky enough to simply stumble across true love, our research shows that sharing a high level of compatibility is a powerful indicator of long-term relationship satisfaction. "
To find out more, or for additional support and advice visit: https://www.eharmony.co.uk/dating-advice/dating/romantic-fatalism
On behalf of eharmony, in November 2017 Nelson Research recruited 2000 UK adults aged 18+, who were asked to provide detailed information on attitudes towards relationships, romance and romantic stories. These findings were then mapped against 11 individual statements that attempt to capture self-efficacy in relationship-seeking and romantic fatalism. Cognitive Psychologist, Dr. Magda Osman from Queen Mary University of London, provided additional insight to the study. Supplementary data was also collected in online interviews conducted by Opinium during December 2018.