How many of these can you check off the list?
My boyfriend asked me to live with him… then took it back.
Love often finds us at the most unexpected of times, but what exactly is it that makes us fall in love? While it could be good ol’ fate or the right time, right place, a new study indicates that there’s actually a number of things that come into play when finding ‘the one.’
According to a presentation by Elizabeth Phillips, a Ph.D. student at the University of Central Florida, psychologists have identified ten factors that draw people together. Interestingly, the process involved in falling in lurve is a little more complex than you would have thought. This is how it apparently works:
They say opposites attract, but surprisingly (or not so surprisingly) we’re more likely to end up with someone similar to ourselves because they’re more inclined to like us back. Oh, the irony!
- Reciprocated feelings
Obviously, you’re not going to end up in a committed relationship with someone who doesn’t feel the same way as you – that’s not to say that you can’t still fall in love them. However, science says that feeling wanted by another can be enough to tip the scale between friends and lovers.
Desirable characteristics in a partner differs greatly for everyone. For some, personality ticks all the boxes, while for others, appearance is the most valued thing. Regardless, Phillips says that we all have aspects of personality or physical attractiveness that gets our heart fluttering. So, lady, if you don’t find anything about your date attractive, including their killer 8-pack, chances are you’re not going to find love with them. But you already knew that, didn’t you?
- Social Influences
According to Phillips, social influences are what we establish as being acceptable. This includes age, background and culture. So if you’re 25 and aren’t attracted to older men, it’s unlikely that you’re going to be open to finding love with someone who’s 45.
- Danger Factor
If you’re looking to find love, go bungee jumping or sky diving – seriously, there’s no puns intended here. Apparently being in an adrenalin-induced situation with another person is a bonding experience that’s associated with falling in love.
Whether it’s a cuddle or an ego boost, the people that we fall in love with generally meet some type of need in our life. This doesn’t necessarily happen consciously, either – apparently on some sub-conscious level we look for a lover who’s capable of patching up a hole in our life. Depressing much?
Just like the TV show implies, falling in love means finding someone that has the X-factor; so someone with that special something that makes you go wowsers. Similar to attraction, it could be a wicked sense of humour, a gorgeous grin, or a kind, loving heart.
- Relationship readiness
This one doesn’t seem to apply to women as much as it does men; because generally speaking, even when a women says she’s not ready for a relationship, she’ll find a way to work one in if the right opportunity presents itself. According to Phillips, however, someone has to be psychologically at a point where they would welcome a relationship.
- Alone time
Basically, if you don’t spend some quality alone time with someone then you’re doomed to remain in the friendship zone. Exclusiveness is essential for falling in love, according to Phillips, because one-on-one time gives you the opportunity to properly get to know someone.
Isn’t it bizarre that the people that we can’t quite figure out are the ones that we’re attracted to the most? Thankfully, science now proves that we’re not crazy for doing so – well, sort of. According to Phillips this factor explains why some women fall in love with inmates. It’s all in the intrigue, baby!
Here she shares five key motivation strategies you can put into action.
Strategy 1: Goal Setting
“People set goals like ‘I want five new clients or to make 20 new marketing calls’. The goals are very specific but are they compelling?” asks Gaby.
“The reason why a lot of people are losing motivation is because they don’t set goals that are real and tangible enough.”
Dream up a specific reward and focus on that treat when your mind starts wandering to thoughts of going home or you feel you cannot tackle another sales call or a particular work task.
The first reward Gaby focused on was buying a computer for her mother, who loved to write but was finding it difficult to do by hand due to Parkinson’s Disease.
“I focused for a whole quarter on the look on my mother’s face when she saw the computer and how that would make me feel. So you can see how compelling that was,” says Gaby.
Strategy 2: The pleasure/pain principle
This is where you set a goal and attach both a reward and a penalty to the outcome.
A dynamic real estate agent told Gaby about how she needed to pass a particular real estate exam to obtain a special licence. Passing the exam would require five hours study a week for the four weeks until the exam. Sounds easy but the agent’s work schedule was 15-hour days, six days a week.
So she set herself a reward – a very expensive piece of jewellery. The penalty was sending off a cheque for the same amount to a rival agent. She made a “30-day commitment” to herself, told her colleagues about the plan and handed the cheque to her secretary with strict instructions that she should post it if she failed. She succeeded.
- The Life Sentence no more freedom.
- Giving up that dream of numerous women, numerous flirtatious evenings and numerous drunken flings.
- The ‘what if’ I meet someone else battle.
- Divorce the bitter battle until the end.
- Replicating his parents failed marriage or too happy marriage.
- A life of stable, organised boredom. Watching TV, cooking and vacuuming on a Saturday morning.
- Giving up wild nights with the boys.
- The Cost and Time the wedding will take.
- Having to grow up and be an adult, save, take a mortgage.