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The Romeo and Juliet Effect: How Disapproval Can Affect Your Relationship

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We know about Shakespeare’s Romeo and Juliet tragic story. From that, we get a concept known as Romeo and Juliet Effect. According to studies, facing disapproval from family members can make a love relationship stronger.

A couple who find themselves without positive reassurance and support from their parents might end up with a great love foundation based on trust and loyalty. Instead of acting out of your feelings, you take time to reason and find a solution.

What better way to understand this, is to use a Romeo and Juliet essay example. Read Juliet Capulet and Romeo Montague for a perspective on how raw emotions can drive someone to death. The same applies to anyone who dives into a relationship head first.

How true is that? We want to dissect this topic and figure out the truth behind this interesting effect. This article aims to understand this fascinating concept. First, let us break down what factors describe a ‘healthy’ love relationship.

Important factors for a healthy relationship

This is a list of the essential factors of a good intimate relationship:

  • Support each other for growth and personal development
  • Spend quality time together
  • There exists mutual trust
  • There is equality
  • Love and companionship
  • Respect for each other
  • Physical intimacy
  • Setting realistic expectations
  • Strong sense of commitment
  • Effective communication

Understanding the Romeo and Juliet effect 

According to this psychological concept, disapproval from your loved ones concerning your relationship will serve as a trigger for you and your partner to have a healthy intimate connection.

However, there is no valid evidence to prove it true. On the contrary, couples who face interference from their family end up having bad relationships. The results do not increase in love, trust and commitment.

This does not mean that approval guarantees success in love. In that case, why does discontentment seem to have a greater force when it comes to the stability of a union?

  • Your desire, lust and passion for someone intensify if you face a barrier that prevents you from forming a relationship with them.
  • Negative opinions about your partner make you find them more attractive.
  • You block or view their flaws as beauty.
  • The desire to be with someone gives purpose to your life.
  • You will sacrifice time, money and anything else to be with them.
  • You find conflicts and arguments with your partner stimulating.

From these points, you can see the fascination of this syndrome. The idea of your partner slipping away increases your dopamine levels. This results in you feeding off adversity to hold onto your relationship.

Does the ‘Romeo and Juliet effect’ affects everyone?

This interesting phenomenon works on potential. You fall in love with the idea of what could ultimately be if your friends and family approve your relationship. It might not work for everyone.

In real life, people who might go through this effect might have the following characteristics:

  • Weak family ties. We listen to the ideas and thoughts of people we value. Factors that cause poor child-parent relationships include neglect, abuse, trauma, lack of love and affection, divorce, illness, death. Because of the factors mentioned above, a child might find it hard to relate to a parent. Due to the lack of connection, disapproval from a parent might not have the same effect if there is a healthy bond or connection between them. For that reason, people who have poor family ties might be victims of this psychological effect.
  • Lack of emotional intelligence – Having emotional intelligence means you can identify and control your emotions. People who lack this trait can be impulsive with poor decision-making skills. One decision can change the course of your life. Being emotionally intelligent will help you deal better with rejection. You will be able to evaluate things without bringing in self-doubt or hate another person. This helps to maintain your sanity and appreciation for life, regardless of a few setbacks.

Does this psychological concept make a relationship stronger?

We have covered: signs of a healthy relationship, the factors that make people find disapproval enchanting and the characteristics of people who might go through this effect.

The big question is whether it does work or not. Based on what we have covered so far, it can only create a healthy relationship if:

  • Your parents or friends are against your partner because of their race or culture
  • The disapproval is based on personal dislike and not because your partner is a bad person
  • You have malicious, selfish friends who do not want to see you happy in a relationship

If the examples above describe your situation, then, in that case, negative opinion will foster greater levels of commitment and trust with your partner. It only works when you are an emotionally intelligent person, but you receive unwanted or undeserved opposition from your family.

The discontent with your partner might make you build a strong relationship. Since you cannot talk to your parents or friends about your relationship, you end up relying on your partner more for emotional support.


The need for emotional support might be overwhelming. This means your partner needs to be aware of the situation and have the mental and emotional strength to survive through the wave of emotions.

Ever since the first report of this psychological effect, there is yet to be a proper study to provide scientific findings of the same.

Based on research, there is a possibility that it does work, but within certain conditions. Again, it does not apply to everyone. The lack of parental approval might not necessarily ruin a relationship just as acceptance does not necessitate the success of one.

Wendy Whitehead worked as a teaching assistant at two special needs schools in London before embarking on a different career as a marketing consultant. 

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