Don’t Seek Approval from Others

One of the great movie tropes to come from the 80’s and 90’s is the coming-of-age story revolving around the social status of the main characters.  Often times, the characters in the movie destined to become a romantic couple are kept apart by the cliques they associate with or their over-bearing families.  While this may seem like an exaggerated phenomenon that doesn’t actually occur in real life, it has been shown that the opposite is true.  It turns out that social network approval plays a huge part in whether a romantic couple view their relationship as satisfying or not and to what extent (Felmlee, 2001, as cited in Gruman, et. al., 2016).

Just like is seen in those films, romantic relationships can be greatly affected by the attitudes of those around them, and not necessarily in as direct a fashion as is portrayed.  Just the perception of disapproval by friends and family of those involved in the relationship is enough to influence the formation or satisfaction of the relationship.  There may be times when one member of the relationship incorrectly believes that the relationship is not approved by others and thereby leaves that person feeling uneasy.  It’s for this reason learning the message that those movies from the 80’s and 90’s were trying to teach us is so vital; caring too much about what other people think can lead to missing out on your own happiness.



Flemlee, D. (2001). No couple is an island: A social stability network perspective on dyadic stability. Social Forces, 79, 1259-1287.

Gruman, J. A., Schneuder., F. W., & Coutts, L. M. (2016). Applied Social Psychology: Understanding and Addressing Socanil and Practical Problems.

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