How do you know when you’ve met ‘the one’? Can people stay in love forever? What is ‘love’? There are a million books out there that will explain, in excruciating detail, how love works and how to find it. But many of us don’t have the time to read these books! So here is a mini True-False compilation on how to find, recognize, and sustain a loving relationship.
Is attraction objective? What if I’m not an attractive person?
Attraction is subjective, it’s in the eye of the beholder. Keep doing you and someday you’ll find someone that loves you the way you are!
Should I go to bars more so I can meet other single people?
If you like going to bars, then sure! But if you are the type of person that doesn’t really like drinking, then go where your compatible partners are. Join a club for something you are passionate about, go to the gym if you enjoy an active lifestyle, join a book-club if you love to read…. Don’t change your personality to meet new people, or you’ll just keep meeting the wrong new people.
Do similarities attract? Or do opposites attract?
Data shows that relationship longevity correlates with having similarities with your partner. But that doesn’t mean you have to be into the same sports, music, and hobbies. The similarities that are crucial for a lasting relationship are attitudes and beliefs (i.e. similar outlook on life and compatible morals).
Opposites attract when the other person has a personality trait that complements your own (i.e. an introvert may be attracted to an extrovert because they need someone who’s more comfortable in social situations).
Do all successful loving relationships start out as friendships?
Not necessarily, but a friendship must develop alongside the romantic relationship. Remember that a ‘good friendship’ includes help, praise, sympathy, emotional support, advice giving, social ties, and a feeling of belonging. Don’t these also sound like the cornerstones of a healthy romantic relationship? So even if you and your romantic partner do not start off as friends, you should grow together as friends.
Is love at first sight real?
There is some debate about this, but here are some facts to consider. Both positive and negative experiences stimulate a physical arousal (e.g. anxiety, nervousness, tension, excitement, heart palpitations, blushing, accelerated breathing…). Our brains can accidentally simulate a feeling of “love” if the labeling process is strong enough in the moment of physical arousal. This explains the initial feelings of passion (when you feel sexually attracted to another person). But true love grows with time. Only time brings intimacy and commitment, through communication and the development of trust.
What is the number one way to ensure a successful relationship?
Well the short answer is, there is no ‘one way’ because relationships are complex and change over time. However, “successful communication” is undeniably an extremely important foundation to all successful relationships. The term “successful communication” was put in quotes because there are right and wrong ways to communicate. Remember that “Successful communication” is open, realistic, tactful, caring, and valued – and it takes practice!
And don’t forget:
1) Learn to calm down first.
2) Validate your partner’s perspectives.
3) Learn to speak and listen non-defensively.
I think the hardest part about understanding how to attain “love” is that there is so much misinformation floating around; it’s hard to know what’s real when movies and TV shows seem to mimic reality. I would be lying if I said I had never compared my relationships to those on TV. But I have to remind myself that movies and shows are meant to entertain us, they were not created to mimic reality. In fact, Reality TV Shows are even worse than fiction because so many of the situations are either fabricated by writers or only a reflection of what a person would do while on camera. It’s all fake, real love is so much better! Real love is validating and reassuring. So if you celebrated Valentine’s Day with a loved-one, I think now is the perfect time to talk to them about how to deepen your friendship so your romance can stand the test of time.
Draft and Concept Written by:
Gianna De Keles
**Clinical information extracted from, “Becoming Aware: A Text/Workbook for Human Relations and Personal Adjustment.”
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