Top Seven Urban Love Legends

urban love legends
When it comes to dating and love relationships there are certain “love facts” that most everyone believes.
But, surprisingly, research about these “love facts” shows they are not facts at all.  They are only urban love legends.  So separating love fiction from love fact makes you an informed “consumer” when it comes to your dating and love life.

Here are seven of these top urban love legends and what the research actually shows us to be true about them.

Urban Love Legend 1.  The divorce rate in the country is 50%

Fact: It’s never been 50%.  It’s actually 41%.  The odds are better than you think.  And a college education decreases the likelihood of divorce.  This is shown by more sophisticated research.

Urban Love Legend 2.  You have one soul mate and meeting that “One” is the key to finding love.

Fact: Research shows that love and marriage take hard work, including commitment, positive communication, and the ability to resolve fights.  The best relationship advice I can give you is that you need to work on yourself and choose someone, a good friend with chemistry, who’s willing to grow with you. These are the keys to a happy marriage. Sorry, no fairy tale.

Urban Love Legend 3.  When you are married fighting is an unhealthy thing.

Fact:  Couples who suppress their anger have a mortality rate that is twice as high as those in which one partner stands up for him/herself.  Fighting with your spouse and then resolving differences is a healthy thing.

Urban Love Legend 4.  Living with a boyfriend/girlfriend gives you a better sense of who your partner is and will make for a stronger marriage down the road.

Fact: In general, couples who have not lived together before marriage have healthier and more successful marriages.  They also have less conflict, less abuse and are less likely to get divorced than couples who live together before marriage. However, a more recent study shows that couples who have committed to be married and live together do have a 28% decreased risk of getting divorced. Also, after age 45 there seems to be no difference in happiness levels between those that are married vs. those that are living together.

Urban Love Legend 5.  On the online dating websites the majority of men are lying about themselves.

Fact: Independent research shows that the number is much less than 50%. Common lies concern income, profession, age, marital status and weight. And of course the women lie also.

Urban Love Legend 6.  It’s better to wait until you’re more mature and get married in your thirties rather than your twenties.

Fact: People who marry after their mid twenties just as likely to get divorced. And surprisingly are much more likely to have a poor quality marriage than those who married earlier. Unless you get married in your early 30s because of educational reasons. Then your chances of a high quality relationship are just as good.

Urban Love Legend 7. Choosing marriage means more stress and financial drain in your life.

Fact: Hundreds of studies conducted around the world show that happy couples are healthier than singles emotionally and physically and they have more wealth too. Except for the crying babies, diapers and the ongoing lack of sleeplessness that children can bring on :).

You can learn much more about urban legends and the latest research on love relationships and dating in my relationship advice book, Love in 90 Days.

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  1. Kimberly on November 6, 2010 at 4:00 pm

    I wonder how they can verify that only 20% of the people with online dating profiles lie. I’d love to know. I seem to happen on to a significantly higher number of men who have wrangled the truth into a more palatable version of themselves.

  2. Kay Iscah on November 19, 2010 at 12:30 am

    I always wonder how the divorce rates would look if seperated out for multiple divorcees. I know several people who married multiple times. How much do they skew the numbers?

  3. Dr. Diana Kirschner on December 12, 2010 at 5:20 am

    Divorce rates are tagged separately for each time. So a one-time divorce rate is 41% vs. 2 or 3 times which rates are indeed higher.

  4. Jimmy Sims on January 2, 2011 at 7:10 pm

    Kind of misleading with that statistic wouldn’t you say Dr. D? Of marriages in this country, about 52% end in divorce. Your logic would be like calculating the murder rate without counting any deaths after the first murder by each criminal.

  5. Joshua on January 20, 2011 at 1:05 pm

    Nice logic there Jimmy Sims. Divorce == Violent Crime.

    How about we say that a murderer is a murderer whether he has committed one murder or 500? But the number of murderers per-capita doesn’t change if the murderer keeps on. It’s a straw-man argument otherwise.

    If you’re going to fail at marriage, is it fair to the general population to continue using you as a metric for divorce statistics? Since the rate of re-divorce is significantly higher than the rate of first-time divorce, it makes a natural categorical split. Should the fact that people get remarried and re-divorced make up a significant factor on what the “first-time divorce” rate is?

    Perhaps Dr Diana should have posted that little fact, but it hardly makes her statement fallacious.

  6. KaiKaiKai on February 8, 2011 at 1:08 am

    interesting list, and interesting arguements in the comments
    thanks for sharing this info

  7. Ryan on February 8, 2011 at 9:25 pm

    “4. Living with a boyfriend/girlfriend gives you a better sense of who your partner is and will make for a stronger marriage down the road.

    Fact: In general, couples who have not lived together before marriage have healthier and more successful marriages. They also have less conflict, less abuse and are less likely to get divorced than couples who live together before marriage.”

    That’s because the people who realized they couldn’t live together never got married. They figured it out before they took that leap, so that statistic is skewed.

  8. Ronnie on February 11, 2011 at 6:33 am

    Kim, they use the same kind of math and sampling techniques they use for political polls and the like. Small sample group, determine level of truth, scale up for larger groups.

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