Have you noticed that people tend to pay more attention to those in a relationship? It’s not merely the increased entertainment value or the fact that two individuals are now being followed instead of one. More often than not, entering into a relationship increases social status. People don’t only pay attention more, but they take a more positive angle What is behind this strange sociological phenomenon?
It’s only by spending time with others that people can formulate independent judgments about their character. Judgments they consider trustworthy. But each human being is allotted 24 hours in a day. When you add up family member, friends, and acquaintances, you are easily talking hundreds of people. This amounts to a lot of gray area in the brain. As a result people outsource the process of character evaluation to others, especially those who ought to know better about the individual than they do. People take what others say and do with respect to an individual as their own basis for making distinctions.
A relationship is one of the highest forms of validation. It communicates that an individual is quality enough that someone else would tie their reputation, and possibly their future, to that individual’s success. And people watching take note, especially if they respect the individuals involved. People tend to make positive assumptions about those in a relationship. This tendency increases the less they know about an individual. The thinking might go something like, “They can’t be that bad if so-and-so is choosing to be in a relationship with them.”
The process with this system is that people often misjudge. And the proof is in the number of relationships that fail. It could also be that we would arrive at different conclusions when presented with the same facts as someone else. If we really want to get to know another human being, there’s simply no substitute for the lengthy energy-rich process of spending time with them. Whenever that isn’t possible, we have two options: withhold judgment or rely on the dubious judgment of others.