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Taylor Swift, Travis Kelce and finding happiness and hatred all at once

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Taylor Swift and Travis Kelce are adorable – or they’re cringey? They’re beautiful – or they’re repulsive? They’re giving you hope – or they’re making you feel lonelier than ever?

When happy couples hold hands, share a smooch, make heart hands and more, people on the sidelines form opinions about their interactions. Some are positive and supportive. But often people pass judgement and have negative thoughts while watching a happy couple be, well, happy. Why?

“She’s a woman supporting her boyfriend, just as he’s supported her,” one mom of a Swiftie wrote in a public Facebook post. “Maybe it’s love that will last, maybe it won’t, but can’t we be hopeful and happy for someone else’s happiness?”

Experts say your take on happy pairs, like Swift and Kelce, may reveal way more about you than the couple in question.

“Our tendency to be happy for others or experience jealousy is strongly related to how we are experiencing our lives and relationships in the present,” says Miranda Nadeau, a licensed psychologist.

Maybe you’re one of those people who can’t stop gushing over Swelce or a couple more close to home.

“How people react to seeing other’s joy and happiness is very telling,” says Maryanne Fisher, a psychology professor at St. Mary’s University in Canada. “Some people are genuinely happy at seeing other’s (including celebrities) happiness.” You might be feeling “freudenfreude,” or “a vicarious experience of another’s joy – think opposite to schadenfreude, where one gets pleasure from another person’s misfortunes,” Fisher adds.

If you are a Swiftie, you may feel this more pronounced. “It is likely that the effect is increased when we feel a connection with the person involved, which fans may certainly experience with celebrities,” Fisher says. “This sharing of joy has all sorts of positive effects; it makes us believe things are positive and good, and relatedly decreases stress and the associated cortisol hormone.”

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