How we feel about ourselves and those we love depends in large part on the assumptions and expectations we hold about romantic relationships. It turns out that many of our beliefs about intimate relationships aren't backed up by science. Binghamton University psychology professor Matthew D. Johnson has debunked 25 of the biggest myths out there.

“People assume that they know how relationships work. It feels like love should be intuitive and not something that can be studied scientifically. Not so!” said Johnson. "Scientists have learned a lot about intimate relationships – much of it counterintuitive."

In his research, Johnson challenges and demystifies many of the misperceptions and stereotypes surrounding attraction, sex, love, internet dating, marriage and heartbreak. For example, he has debunked the following:

  • Opposites attract
  • Having children brings couples closer
  • Having access to innumerable online profiles of potential partners increases the likelihood of finding Mr. or Ms. Right
  • Good communication is the key to a happy relationship
  • Couples who are “matched” by online dating services are more likely to have satisfying relationships
  • Living together before marriage is a good way to determine whether you’re with the right person

Johnson is the author of Great Myths of Intimate Relationships: Dating, Sex, and Marriage (Wiley, 2016).