Hey, here is some true rocket science for you: a study at UCLA concludes that if you’re in love with your mate, you’re less likely to sleep around:
Love is not only blind, it also blinds us to the charms of anyone other than our beloved. That’s the conclusion of an experiment designed to separate the roles of love and lust in keeping us on the sexual straight and narrow.
According to Gian Gonzaga, who led the study while at the University of California, Los Angeles, the finding helps solve the “commitment problem”: why people who already have a partner will pass up opportunities for illicit liaisons, even though humans usually tend to value immediate gains over long-term ones.
And here’s the executive summary from the full paper:
Reports of love, but not sexual desire, predicted greater commitment to the current partner during the study. These results suggest that love serves a function distinct from desire and that love can operate as a commitment device.
Crikey! [slaps forehead] Who knew?
Of course, I’ll go back to what I’ve said here a few times: even when the results are obvious, it’s often good to have a study to back up our intuition, and to have as a baseline and referral point. Studies that generate expected conclusions are, in general, not actually useless.
On the other hand, I’ll also point out that the corresponding author of the study, Gian Gonzaga, works for eHarmony as well as for UCLA. Which makes it clear where the motivation for this came from, and what they aim to do with whatever publicity it generates.