Amanda Pendolino
March 04, 2013

Science: Trusting Your Boyfriend Can Make You Delusional

Photo credit: o5

Trust is generally viewed as a good thing in a relationship — but a new study says it can make you delusional.

Findings published in The Journal of Personality and Social Psychology suggest trust can actually distort your memories, making you view your partner’s past betrayals in a more positive light, Live Science reports.

Researchers regularly checked in with study participants, asking if their partners did anything that upset them. Researchers later asked participants to think about the transgressions again. The people who trusted their partners didn’t view the betrayals as negatively. People who didn’t trust their partners, on the other hand, had become even more upset about what had transpired.

Even after accounting for self-esteem, tendency to hold a grudge and degree of attachment, researchers found trust was the main factor in how people felt about the past.

“One of the ways that trust is so good for relationships is that it makes us partly delusional,” says Eli J. Finkel, professor of psychology at Northwestern.

The question then remains: are these delusions good or bad for your relationship?

If you continually look past what your partner has done wrong, it may help you stay together. But if the transgressions are serious, sugar-coating them can trap you in an unhealthy cycle of mistreatment.