There are few things that can add happiness to your life than a good romantic relationship. Noted social psychologist and researcher Dr. David Myers reports: “Satisfaction with marriage predicts overall happiness better than does satisfaction with job, finances or community. Indeed, there are few stronger predictors of happiness than a close, nurturing, equitable, intimate lifelong companionship with one’s best friend.” Here in Inland Empire and the rest of metro Los Angeles as well as places like New York, Atlanta, Houston, Dallas, and Florida many people will get a facelift, laser or J-Plasma resurfacing or another cosmetic plastic surgery procedure to counteract facial aging. Does improving your appearance improve your romantic relationship? Can a younger look give an aging couple a ‘shot in the arm?’ One Inland Empire area couple decided to give it a try. Did it work?
Editor’s Note: Dr. Brian Machida is a highly experienced, expert, board certified facial plastic surgeon. He taught for years at the University of Southern California’s Keck School of Medicine. Dr. Machida is the Medical Director at STC Plastic Surgery in Ontario, CA in California’s Inland Empire north of Los Angeles.
Rejuvenating their relationship with a facelift for their 50th
Craig and Judy, a long-married couple from metro Los Angeles, decided it was time to get a new look. Craig said,
My neck was starting to hang. My wife said I was starting to look more like my 92 year old father than my 70 year old self.
Judy, at 68, needed to freshen up the lower facelift she had when she was in her 50s. “We both had a lot of sun damage,” Craig reported.
They decided that each would get a facelift and other needed procedures to look as young as they felt. Craig and Judy each had a lower facelift to firm up their necks, jawlines and chins.
My wife retired in August,” Craig related. “The next week we went to see Dr. Machida.
Finishing off a facelift with J-Plasma skin resurfacing
Judy wanted to finish off her facelift with laser resurfacing. I recommended she try J-Plasma skin resurfacing instead. I’ve done thousands of facial rejuvenation procedures, and this state-of-the-art technology tightens skin better than anything I’ve ever seen. We discussed the options for some time. Finally, Judy decided to give J-Plasma a try.
How did adding J-Plasma to Judy’s facelift turn out? I’ll let her husband Craig answer:
“The results my wife got were incredible! He took the bags out from under both eyes. My wife looks fantastic.”
What plastic surgery procedures did for their relationship
Couples who have been together for many years often take each other for granted. They become so familiar that they don’t look at each other the same way anymore. What can combat this tendency?
Research, exemplified by a University of Minnesota study, provides an answer. Social psychologists tested 752 incoming freshmen to determine a number of their key characteristics. Then they randomly matched them as dates at an orientation week dance. That night, the couples spent a few hours dancing and talking. Then each person filled out a survey where they rated their date and indicated how likely they were to date them again. Researchers had measured each freshman’s intelligence, independence, sensitivity and sincerity. But in the end, what made the difference in whether they wanted to spend more time together was attractiveness.
Attractiveness is clearly important at the dating stage. Why would it matter to a long-married couple?
Interestingly, a good-looking face attracts attention. Research finds that even babies, when shown photos of different faces, spend more time looking at the attractive ones. This can activate what social psychologists call “focusing illusion” in a beneficial way.
What is Focusing Illusion? Nobel Prizewinning Princeton psychology professor Dr. Daniel Kahneman describes it this way:
Nothing in life is as important as you think it is while you are thinking about it.
So, having good-looking faces can actually make partners in a long-term relationship, like those married for many years, more important to one another. They pay more attention to each other. It’s therefore no surprise that Craig said of his and Judy’s facelift procedures,
It’s had a positive effect on our marriage. Looking younger for each other is a life-changer.
When I look across the table at her, she looks so much younger that I’m just absolutely in awe. Now she says I look like I’m in my 50s instead of 70.
Craig and Judy celebrated their 50th with more than just cosmetic plastic surgery. They went on a cruise. Their younger appearance did not escape the notice of people they met on the ship. Craig said,
Everyone on the cruise looked at her and said, “She looks 40.” That’s younger than our daughter. She’s 68.
Clearly, having a facelift plus, in Judy’s case, J-Plasma skin resurfacing had a truly positive effect on Craig and Judy. It’s been good for their marriage. But I must note that plastic surgery is not a panacea. While a cosmetic procedure can give a long-term relationship a nice ‘shot in the arm,’ it’s probably not enough to save a failing marriage. But couples who have realistic expectations may well find that after a facelift or neck lift, they take pleasure in each other’s company even more. That can make a satisfying relationship even more enjoyable.