Love can be many different things to many different people. It may be filled with butterflies and giggles, or simply allow you to feel happy, comfortable and safe. It can be based on commitment or a lifelong friendship. But love, is not always easy to find.
The reason how and why two people end up together can be a mystery for some. Researchers have looked into many years of psychological studies in order to find some answers. And throughout the process, they managed to bust some myths and learned that there are certain clichés that are actually true.
Are you Environmentally Friendly?
If your friends consider you to be a tree hugger, it may be easy to be green, but only if you are truly seeking something serious relationship-wise. Based on a study that was performed in 2016, Men and women who make eco-friendly choices such as buy only recycled products or do their best to conserve energy are perceived as more desirable for long-term relationships that those who don’t. People who tend to spend their money on luxury purchases are seen as more physically attractive and more desirable for short-term relationships.
Do You Play Hard to Get?
A study that was performed in 2014 showed that men who were involved in a speed dating experiment found the woman they were paired with more desirable when she was playing hard to get. If the woman was acting like she was not interested in the man’s questions, their attraction grew stronger. But these results only applied to certain situations.
Specifically, the men had to already feel committed to the woman, which in this particular study meant that they had chosen her as their partner and was not assigned to her.
It is also worth mentioning that even though the men wanted the women more when they played hard to get, they also liked the women less. Which can make things complicated.
Do You Display the Right Expressions?
For women, happiness is generally perceived as an attractive trait, but for men, not so much. In a study that was performed in 2011, researchers conducted several experiments on more than 1,000 individuals showing them photographs of members of the opposite sex and asking them how attractive the person was.
The results showed that men rated women most attractive when they were smiling or looked happy. They found them least attractive when they displayed pride. Women, however, rated men to be most attractive when they showed pride and least attractive when they appeared to be happy.
An interesting fact was that the participants found shame to be attractive in both men and women.
Do You Look Similar to their Current or Last Partner?
While it may be true that we all have a “type”, women are more likely to adhere to it than men are. In another 2011 study, researchers were able to find that both men and women rated opposite-sex faces more attractive when they closely resembled their current or most recent partners. Men, however, were less attracted to faces that looked similar to their current partner than women were.
Do You Use a Lot of Hand Gestures?
If you are currently looking for love, you need to put yourself out there. Literally. Fill up the physical space around you with hand gestures and an expansive posture. In a 2016 study were researchers observed men and women in speed dating situations, the results show that people were twice as likely to say they wanted to see their partner again when their partner moved their hands and arms as they talked, as opposed to their partners who sat still most of the time.
For the same study, researchers also set up profiles for men and women on a GPS-based dating app, showing them in both expansive and contractive posture. And the results? People were selected more often when they were pictured in expansive postures.
Are You Similar to Them?
There have been decades of studies based on the myth that opposites attract, and they are way off. According to Gian Gonzaga, the lead author of a study of couples who met on eHarmony, “Partners who are similar in broad dispositions, like personality, are more likely to feel the same way in their day to day lives, this may make it easier for partners to understand each other.”
Have You Stared into Each Other’s Eyes for At Least Two Minutes?
A University of Massachusetts psychologist, Joan Kellerman, asked 72 unacquainted undergraduate students to pair off and stare into each other’s eyes for two minutes.
“They later reported they had increased feelings of passionate love and affection towards the other person.” Says Scientific American. “This suggests that long periods of eye contact can connect you to someone and even ignite feelings of love inside you for that person you have never previously met.”