For an advanced civilisation of sentient beings, we’re still pretty backward when it comes to romantic love. After all, for most other species, mating is really just about propagating their kind and ensuring that their race carries on into future generations.

Humans, however, don’t just mate to make more humans. They mate because of romantic love, because they are soul mates, because it is their destiny. It is perhaps one of the last few aspects of mankind that still have a mystical, ethereal quality to it, since you can’t manufacture love the way you could study for an exam or train for a sports event.

As a result, we’ve gotten several strange truisms about love pop up over the ages. Here are some that you might have heard of before.

 

1. The seven-year itch

Marilyn Monroe and the infamous white dress of The Seven Year Itch. Credit: Marilyn Monroe Facebook Page

Marilyn Monroe and the infamous white dress of The Seven Year Itch. Credit: Marilyn Monroe Facebook Page

The most common truism is the seven-year itch, which refers to the tendency of couples to stray and get divorced after seven years of marriage. It became popular after the 1955 movie of the same name was released.

However, several studies have shown that the itch can come at three years, four years, or even twelve years. Many of the studies attribute the split as the result of having children, which is kind of counter-intuitive when you think about the biological motivation of getting married.

 

2. Half plus seven

The Trumps. Credit: Melania Trump Facebook Page

The Trumps. Credit: Melania Trump Facebook Page

Are you dating someone who’s too young for you? There’s a quick formula to figure out if you’re a cradle snatcher or if the age gap is acceptable. Take your age, divide it by two, then add seven. That is the youngest person you can date without seeming creepy.

So, for example, let’s take Ryan Reynolds and Blake Lively. They got married on 9 September, 2012. At that time, Lively was was 25 (her birthday had passed) and Reynolds was 35 (his birthday hadn’t passed yet). Using the half plus seven rule, Reynolds could marry someone who was 24.5 (35/2 + 7) years old, and Lively just managed to qualify. That’s why we don’t find them odd, despite their 11 year age gap.

On the other hand, we can’t help finding Donald and Melania Trump’s relationship to be a bit awkward. They got married on 22 January, 2005. At that time, Trump was 58 and his wife was 34 (both birthdays hadn’t passed yet). Using the half plus seven rule, the youngest person Trump could marry was 36 (58/2 + 7), but Melania was two years shy of that.

Somehow we all intuitively know she is a little young, even if we don’t do the math for it.

 

3. Nothing good happens after 2 am

How I Met Your Mother. Credit: How I Met Your Mother Facebook Page

How I Met Your Mother. Credit: How I Met Your Mother Facebook Page

First popularised on How I Met Your Mother which had an episode named after this, this belief is that romantically speaking, nothing good can happen after 2 am. After all, most of the world is sleeping, we’re pretty tired (it is 2 am, after all), and we’re likely to make bad decisions.

This applies to most things, actually, unless you’re trying to finish an assignment that’s due the next morning… which means that something bad happened before 2 am.

 

4. An engagement ring must be worth between one to three months’ salary

Diamond rings. Credit: De Beers Facebook Page

Diamond rings. Credit: De Beers Facebook Page

This horrible rule came about because of a De Beers advertising campaign in the 1930s. It started off as a modest value of “one month’s salary”, then it escalated to two months in the 1980s, and three months in Japan.

Diamonds are a terrible investment too. And when you realise that before World War II, only 10 per cent of engagement rings had diamonds, you’d also realise that this is a rather modern concept of love. Better that to spend that money on your house renovations instead, seriously.

 

5. Love at first sight

Jimmy (Shawn Yue) and Cherie (Miriam Yeung) in Love off the Cuff. Credit: Golden Village Cinemas

Jimmy (Shawn Yue) and Cherie (Miriam Yeung) in Love off the Cuff. Credit: Golden Village Cinemas

Love at first sight tends to be relegated to lust, since really, it’s all about the attractiveness of the other person, right? However, studies have shown that there are also subconscious workings in play as we assess the suitability of the other party. Their attractiveness is sometimes reflective of their reproductive prowess and general health, as well as our own Freudian preferences for someone who looks like our parents.

However, a related notion is that “love in the first ten minutes” may actually determine the viability of a potential relationship, after the potential couple get to interact with each other.

Bottom line – first impressions count.

Love off the Cuff. Credit: Golden Village Cinemas

Love off the Cuff. Credit: Golden Village Cinemas

In Love off the Cuff, we get to see some of these principles put to the test! Jimmy (Shawn Yue) and Cherie (Miriam Yeung) return in the third instalment of Love in a Puff. Hijinks ensue when Jimmy’s best female friend asks him for insemination assistance and Cherie’s father breaks the half plus seven rule.

Will the couple manage to stay together, or is this the end of the road for the two lovers? Watch the trailer here:

 

Credit: Marilyn Monroe Facebook Page, Melania Trump Facebook Page, How I Met Your Mother Facebook Page, De Beers Facebook Page,  Golden Village Cinemas