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  1. #1
    keannu's Avatar
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    Default romantic mistakes

    I don't know why these two "romantic mistakes" and " romantic commitments" are added here. This writing seems to be about our attraction to irreversible things. So how are these two related and what do they mean?

    mo3-48
    ex) Our romantic mistakes can always be undone these days, which you would think is a good thing. But the very reversibility of our romantic commitments has only worsened our problem because that also undermines our satisfaction with our choices. To see this, you only need to look at a study of a group of college students in a photography class. The students made a print of their two best photographs. They were then told that they could choose one of the photos but that the other would be kept on file as an example of their work. Then, the teacher added a twist.
    One group was told that their choice was final. Whatever they chose, they could not change their minds later. The other group was told that they could switch photographs if they changed their minds. In a survey taken later, students who were allowed to change their mind liked their photos less than the other students. Why this paradoxical result? According to one researcher,the brain has a kind of built-in defense system that works to make us choices that cannot be undone. Despite thinking that we would like the freedom to change our minds, it appears that we are happier with our choices if we think they can’t be changed, which means we would be better off if we made romantic commitments more permanent and more difficult to break, rather than less.

  2. #2
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    Default Re: romantic mistakes

    (not a teacher)

    The article's point is that being able to easily back out of a "romantic commitment" actually detracts
    from our ability to enjoy them. When we make "romantic mistakes", we're more inclined to think we've blundered in
    our choice of initiating a romantic relationship with that special someone. The study mentioned in the article is suggesting
    that the mind has a "what's done is done" switch that helps us feel we've made the best decision we possibly could and
    bear any perceived "mistakes".

  3. #3
    keannu's Avatar
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    Default Re: romantic mistakes

    Does this "undone" mean "unfinished"?

    Our romantic mistakes can always be undone these days

  4. #4
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    Default Re: romantic mistakes

    No. It means you can correct them (undo what was wrong).
    Please be aware that I'm neither a native English speaker nor a teacher.

  5. #5
    keannu's Avatar
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    Default Re: romantic mistakes

    So does "romantic mistakes" means things like "being late for a date", "getting angry with your date", etc?
    And does "romantic commitments" mean things like "I will be your love forever"?

  6. #6
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    Default Re: romantic mistakes

    Yes. Or, on a minor scale, "Let's go out for a romantic dinner tomorrow", "Of course I remember when is our anniversary" and the like.
    Please be aware that I'm neither a native English speaker nor a teacher.

  7. #7
    keannu's Avatar
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    Default Re: romantic mistakes

    I'm really sorry I can't get the meaning easily. If someone can take an example in reality, it will be highly appreciated!

  8. #8
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    Default Re: romantic mistakes

    I believe it's talking about divorce. If you marry the wrong person, you've made a romantic mistake. I suppose it could apply to long-term dating as well. The leap this study is making is saying that you will be happier with your spouse if you think you can never get a divorce than if you continue to believe that you can split if things don't work out. At least, students who were stuck with a photograph liked it more than a photo that they could change.
    I'm not a teacher, but I write for a living. Please don't ask me about 2nd conditionals, but I'm a safe bet for what reads well in (American) English.

  9. #9
    keannu's Avatar
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    Default Re: romantic mistakes

    I'm so confused by your explanation which makes quite a sense. By applying your example, I could make out the whole writing more easily. However, according to the description of this part - this is a question of an high school mock-up test - by the testing organization, "romantic" means "not seeing the world in realistic way, ridiculous or impractical way", which makes me more confused.
    I wonder how they got this interpretation and if it's correct. This was distributed to tens of thousands of students, and if it is wrong, they are faking the students.

  10. #10
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    Default Re: romantic mistakes

    (not a teacher)

    While that is one meaning of 'romantic', that's not the definition the author had in mind when writing this.
    'Romantic' here is clearly being used in the sense of 'intimate' here.

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