Poor lovelorn Bobby Ram has been at the bottle ... no wonder I haven't seen him in ages!
Drowning his sorrows clearly isn't getting him anywhere.
So I lent him this book : 50 Great Myths of Popular Psychology - Shattering Widespread Misconceptions about Human Behaviour by Lilienfeld, Lynn, Ruscio and Beyerstein. This may seem a bit strange, considering that he's a sheep, but I'm sure there are parallels between sheepy and human behaviour.
The important one for Bobby was Myth #27 - Opposite Attract : We Are Most Romantically Attracted to People [or Lambs] Who Differ from Us.
I felt this myth related to his relationship with Lulu - Lulu is crazy, promiscuous, badly behaved, unreliable, and rather wicked ... and Bobby is quite the opposite.
So, are they destined to be together? We know the answer, but it's taking Bobby a while to grasp the reality.
The whole "opposites attract" belief is very widespread. It makes for a great movie plot, but isn't good for real life – research evidence suggests this belief isn't true. Some quotes from the book (pg 137) :
"Indeed, dozens of studies demonstrate that people with similar personality traits are more likely to be attracted to each other than people with dissimilar personality traits.""The same rule applies to friendships, by the way. We're considerably more likely to hang out with people with similar than dissimilar personality traits.""Similarity in personality traits isn't merely a good predictor of initial attraction. It's also a good predictor of marital stability and happiness.""The 'like attracts like' conclusion extends beyond personality to our attitudes and values. The classic work of Donn Byrne and his colleagues demonstrates that the more similar someone's attitudes (for example, political views) are to ours, the more we tend to like that person."
The problem arises when people use the 'opposites attract' rule to guide their choices in partners, as Bobby has clearly done with Lulu ... sure, it's exciting to be around someone so different, but it's not a good decision for long-term relationships.
Bobby seems a bit more relaxed now, I hope that he's found greater peace of mind, and understands that Lulu isn't a good lamb for him.
I strongly recommend this book, it's fascinating to dip into. Here are a few of the other myths covered in the book (NB these statements are all wrong) :
#2 Some people are left-brained, others are right-brained#6 Playing Mozart's music to infants boosts their intelligence#12 Hypnosis is useful for retrieving memories of forgotten events#18 Students learn best when teaching styles are matched to their learning styles#26 A positive attitude can stave off cancer#29 Men and women communicate in completely different ways#36 Our handwriting reveals our personality traits
I was surprised by many of these too!
While there are a host of books and web sites about debunking medical myths, this is the first book for the general public about psychology myths. It's also being used as a text book for uni psych students. It's written in an entertaining style, is quite funny in parts and easy to read, and includes all the references to the research papers cited if you want to look further.
So - hopefully Bobby can move on now, and find himself a lamb of similar temperament ... we can only hope!