People who get caught up in fictional romance are doing damage to their real-life love, new research claims.

Jeremy Osborn from Albion College surveyed 392 married people about their television habits and belief in portrayals of romance. They were asked their level of agreement with statements like "television presents relationships as they are in real life" and "television helps me understand what I can expect from relationships."

Participants were also quizzed about the satisfaction, expectations and commitment levels in their real relationships, Medical Daily reported.

The results showed people who believed in television romance were less likely to be committed to their real-life lover. They were more likely to look for alternatives like other relationships or experiencing singledom.


Those who had stronger faith in fictional romance also assigned higher "costs" to their relationships such as putting up with their partner's cringey characteristics, loss of personal freedom and time.

The study was published in the journal Mass Communication and Society.