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Relationships are embedded in cultural master narratives, well-worn tales such as love at first sight, the hero saving the damsel in distress or the random but charming encounter, says Katherine Panattoni, a Ph D candidate in psychology at Aarhus University in Denmark, who wrote her dissertation on how romantic partners vicariously interpret each others’ life stories and how those are affected by cultural master narratives.
“There are master narratives of what relationship stories are supposed to look like. There’s supposed to be some meet-cute thing,” Panattoni says.
When Sarah Sullivan, 25, worked at the Mc Master University bookstore as an undergrad, an engineering student named Sean Watson kept coming back, first to visit, then to chat, then to finally ask her out. Sullivan and her now-partner of more than three years actually met on OKCupid.His father still believes the couple met in a bar, but Gonzales has become more comfortable with the true story the more he sees friends and family meet and marry someone they met on Tinder.“It’s definitely a lot easier talking about it now it was a year ago,” he says.They concocted “a ridiculous story” to create something rosier out of what felt utilitarian compared to others.Sullivan’s mom is an emergency room nurse and her father was an injured patient.