Romance is a strong motivator for humans. Whether it’s people who will do anything to find love or those who can’t seem to make it work, a connection is something we all want. Of course, figuring out how to find the right person can be just about impossible. Advice ranges from “play hard to get” to “be open and honest”. What’s a person to do if they just want to find The One?
Well, a good place to start would be the science of the matter. What actually happens to your body and your brain when you fall in love? Which traits have scientists found to be most appealing to a romantic partner? And which tactics are most likely to cement those happy first butterflies into a solid foundation of love?
Let’s take a deep dive into the actual psychology of falling in love to find out how you can match with that special someone.
You might think there’s no rhyme or reason to why people fall in love.
But psychology can give us some idea of what traits will help you attract a mate. Let’s take a look at some of the studies that have shown what will make people fall in love.
It is easy being green.
You might want to start recycling because a 2016 study found that people who make “eco-friendly” purchases are the ones who understand commitment. Unless of course you just want a fling, because spending the big bucks on a luxury item will make people think you’re hot.
It is confusing though…multiple factors may be at play.
In fact certain traits may only be beneficial if the person is already interested in you. For example one study in 2014 found that if a man was committed to a woman, playing hard to get made him want her more. What even??
Plus the way you feel can impact if other people want you.
AND it’s gender dependent. If you’re a woman you probably should smile more if you want to attract a mate (happiness is attractive on women), but if you’re a man you might want to look proud, at least according to a 2011 study.
Some prefer comfort, others like excitement
.But overall there are trends based on gender. Men tend to be more interested in a new face, while women rate someone familiar as more attractive.
But regardless of gender, if you make yourself a bit larger than life, you’ll do well.
So here’s a weird one: be big. No, not tall, but take up a lot of space with your posture and your gesture. The more you move your hands and arms, the more likely people are to want to see you again. Even in photos on your dating profile it’s important to take an expansive posture. Or at least that’s what one 2016 study found.
Oh, and for the love of everything have something in common with your partner!
Sure you might think that opposites attract, but one study focused on eHarmony found that partners at all stages in their relationships have better connection when they’re generally similar.
There are actually quite a lot of ways that it’s important to match with your partner.
One psychologist, Eric Berne, identified three different areas. He calls them the parent, the child, and the adult. In his work, successful couples match in all three of these areas.
The parent of your personality is what you’ve been taught in your life. If you match well with someone else in the parent realm, you’ll have similar beliefs and values. You approach the world in the same way.
Your inner child, according to Berne, is what you feel. If you connect in the child realm you’ll have fun with your partner. You’ll be spontaneous together and have good chemistry.
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