The romantic ideology is a pervasive construct in Western culture, but we know relatively little about how it influences the unfolding of particular relationships. One purpose of this investigation was to examine how romantic beliefs are related to love for partner, other positive feelings in the relationship, and the stability of the relationship. A second purpose was to examine how romantic beliefs change with the passage of time and with relationship transitions. Longitudinal data from a sample of romantic couples were analyzed to examine these issues. At Time 1, romantic beliefs (Romantic Beliefs Scale) were associated positively with love, satisfaction, and commitment. However, very little evidence was found that romantic beliefs contributed to a change in these feelings over time. Furthermore, partners’ romanticism scores were not predictive of whether the relationship lasted or broke up over the 4 years of the study. Participants’ scores on the romanticism scale tended to decrease over time, although couples who became engaged during the study did not experience a decrease (or an increase) in their romanticism during the transition. Couples who broke up during the study experienced a substantial decrease in their endorsement of romantic beliefs from before to after the breakup.
Source: “Romantic Beliefs: Their Influence on Relationships and Patterns of Change Over Time” from Journal of Social and Personal Relationships