If you’re a fan of the TV show Parks and Recreation, you may remember Ann’s dating adventures in the third season. She decided to just have fun and date a bunch of different people. So far so good.
But with every new boyfriend, she started behaving differently. At one point she showed up at Leslie’s office wearing a literal cowboy outfit. Eventually, Leslie (being a good friend) told her she was going overboard, changing too much to accommodate the guys she spent time with.
But that’s a TV show. That’s not real, is it?
A recent study suggests it may be closer to the truth than you’d think. Researchers from the University of Connecticut wanted to understand what happens to couples when one half of the couple loses weight.
Turns out, if one person decides to shed some pounds, their partner tends to follow suit—even if the partner doesn’t intentionally go on a diet! “The concept is called the ripple effect,” Amy Gorin, Associate Professor in Psychological Sciences, said. If you get healthier, your guy is likely to get healthier, too.
You already know where this is headed. The opposite also happens. If one person adopts bad habits, so does the other.
We’re heavily influenced by the people around us. Especially the people we date. And we have the power to influence them right back.
That’s a hard pill to swallow for some. It can be uncomfortable to accept that other people change who you are. But I want to encourage you to lean into this truth instead of pushing back against it.
If you accept that you have a lot of influence over your man and he has a lot of influence over you, you can use that fact in some pretty powerful ways. It can even make you a stronger couple.
Want to know how? I can tell you.