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Subconscious Mental Defense Mechanism Protects Your Relationship

you and me - relationship conceptStaying committed in a long-term relationship in this day-and-age can be quite a challenge, especially with the temptations of the internet and social media right at our fingertips.

But research is now suggesting that those who are committed, and mean to keep their relationship in good standing have a subconscious technique for resisting attractive members of the opposite sex.

Studies show that when someone is in a loving, long-term relationship, and they see someone who is genuinely attractive, their mind automatically downplays the person’s looks and points out potentially unattractive aspects of them.

This seems to be a defensive mechanism used by the subconscious mind as a way to deter them from thinking about the parts of that person that they may think is attractive.

This protects the current relationship from suffering due to wandering eyes and thoughts.

A study, published by Personality and Social Psychology Bulletin, took a look at 131 couples, and showed them pictures of people who were either deemed single or in a relationship. If the person in the picture was single, the person being shown the card would immediately point out negative aspects of their appearance.

According to an article titled “Happy Couples Automatically Use Mind Trick to Stay Faithful” published by PsyBlog, “Dr Shana Cole, the study’s first author, said, “Mis-perceiving attractive people who represent threats to the relationship as less attractive may help people resist the inclination to pursue them. This is especially important since finding someone physically attractive is a primary reason why people choose to date or romantically pursue someone.”

So if you’re in a loving, healthy, and committed relationship, you can rest easy knowing that your significant other’s subconscious is protecting it, and chances are they don’t even realize they’re doing it!


Happy Couples Automatically Use Mental Trick To Stay Faithful – PsyBlog. (n.d.). Retrieved from

Subconscious Mental Defense Mechanism Protects Your Relationship

Mike Bundrant

Mike Bundrant is the author of Your Achilles Eel: Discover and Overcome the Hidden Cause of Negative Emotions, Bad Decisions and Self-Sabotage and co-founder at The iNLP Center which offers online certification in Neuro-Linguistic Programming and life coaching.

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APA Reference
Bundrant, M. (2016). Subconscious Mental Defense Mechanism Protects Your Relationship. Psych Central. Retrieved on September 29, 2020, from


Last updated: 17 Jun 2016
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