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Could Reading Help Your Dating Life?


Here’s some good news if you’re single, or even if you want to improve communication in your marriage.

A new study from the New School For Social Research in New York says that reading literary fiction can help you interpret people’s emotions.

In other words, you can finally figure out what your girlfriend or boyfriend or husband or spouse or, you get the idea, is thinking!

Here’s how the study’s author, David Kidd, explains it according to Men’s Health Magazine:

Novels often contain unreliable characters or narrators, forcing the reader to fill in the gaps himself. That guessing, in turn, strengthens your ability to understand others’ feelings in real life as well.

He goes on to say that the longer you read, the more insight you have.

I’d love to see a little more from the study to see what type of evidence they have.

Part of the reason I love reading fiction is because I feel like I learn so much about human nature. Most of us are driven by and pursue the same things. Sometimes, reading a novel might bring a little more self-awareness, I believe.

With fiction, you learn about emotions and feelings—the stuff you deal with every day. That’s opposed to nonfiction–which is, for the most part, facts and theories. I’m painting with a broad brush there, but I believe that’s generally true.

So, bottom line: Read more fiction. Get more dates!

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11 Comments Post a comment
  1. fiction and reality ..both have drama ..confusions..conflicts..actions and we see we learn and improve our reality ;)

    November 4, 2013
  2. Reblogged this on inksplatis: this is my design and commented:
    Well, who knew reading so much could come in handy? Bring on the men! I have been preparing for this my whole life.

    November 4, 2013
  3. This study caught my eye when it was reported in the October 4th NYTimes. I had a bit different take on the results and wrote about it over at the Dogpatch:

    November 4, 2013
  4. Naomis Nook #

    Awesome. Awesome. Awesome. Although, I am not sure that reading will help me get more dates… It definitely does help interpret peoples emotions which cant hurt me any! BUT I’d like to think that in the end, reading more will help me in the relationship field of life too..

    November 4, 2013
  5. This doesn’t surprise me. I feel like I’ve learned more about human nature from reading books that I have even from talking to people directly. Well, maybe that’s a bit extreme… But reading has definitely been instructive. Similar studies have shown that people who read a lot of fiction are more empathetic and understanding of people who are different.

    November 4, 2013
  6. Wow, I should be a dating genius by now then with the amount I read! :-)

    November 5, 2013
  7. Reblogged this on my|paper|habit.

    November 5, 2013
  8. I think it does. I love it when my husband and I can get into a discussion. It’s never over fiction, mostly the news, but at least it’s reading something ;)

    November 5, 2013
  9. Interesting study! But doesn’t it stand to reason that the more fiction I read, the less dates I have time for? Drat – foiled again!

    November 5, 2013
  10. A friend and I were recently discussing the fact that we love reading novels and how we gravitate towards (read “fall in love with”) very specific types of characters in these novels. And, upon reflection, we both realized that the men we really have fallen in love with have been variations on them…it was interesting to say the least, and I will be reading so much more fiction since science is officially validating me (not that that has ever stopped me before)!

    November 5, 2013

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