Why do people find each other? And why do they break up? Apparently there’re internal and external factors driving those decisions. Let’s dive into it the ExperienceZone way.
How we make choices
There’re subtle differences between buying a soft drink and falling in love. However, both are decisions – taken rationally or emotionally. Engaging in human relationships, no matter if it’s a friend or partner, is a highly complex process, which happens subconscious to a large extent. Therefore we want to wrap our minds around it to demystify its rationale and understand ourselves better.
Let me pose a truism here: The more complex a decision, the more likely we take it emotionally. This makes sense as our brain is only able to manage a limited amount of parameters. Of course, we can use frameworks to support decision processes logically. Yet rating potential lovers on a one-to-ten scale and making a choice based on who scored highest, bottom line doesn’t only sound utterly unromantic but also bears the illusion of behavioral predictions. In fact, we’re really bad in forecasting the future when it comes to romances. So let’s drop this thought and put our heart in the driver seat.
It seems like we need to trust our intuition and feelings here, which is totally reasonable given that love as an emotion is the strongest force in the universe and emerges from our gut. Up it moves into our heart and creates derived feelings, such as attraction, compassion and joy. Hence the cheesy advice to listen to our heart rings true.
Why outsides open doors
Vision is our dominant sense. Of course, there’s differences between us. Some are prone to listen, others like to touch, smell or taste things. Yet, most of us are primarily visual beings and our brain thinks in pictures. Memories are stored in mental images and visualization is a powerful tool, which often trumps affirmations (repeating positive beliefs). Observing animals when they’re pea-cocking to make up or fighting to show off proves evidence that dresses and alpha-behavior attracts females – if authentic and backed up properly.
In fact, the beauty and fashion industry play on these evolutionary facts and equip us with the latest make-up and hair trends as well as haute couture to impress our social network – in particular prospective partners. We all want to be acknowledged, recognized and appreciated as to who we are or at least what we represent to the outside world. Attractive appearance creates that first impression in split seconds. That’s the reason why you actually cannot overdress as it impacts not only your perceived status by others but also your self-confidence. “There’s no second chance for a first impression”. This especially applies to dates and includes your overall appearance – from facial expressions, body languages to clothes.
Beware that there’s other unconscious non-visual drivers of appeal, which includes the tone of your voice and your smell though. But let’s go down these rabbit holes in another blog post…
Why insides make you stay
Congrats: You met each other and informally agreed to dive into an adventure called love. This might last for some time – hopefully a lifetime. The quality and length of a relationship depend on many factors. Primary on internal ones. Outside attraction is the door opener. Commonalities and differences propel you into a virtual or vicious circle. The entire joint roller-coaster experience is a function of your similarities, willingness to compromise and emotional stability.
Similarities set the foundation. It determines whether you saw the seed of love on fertile or dead ground. Whereby you and your partner don’t need to be clones of each other, who don’t need to speak at all but communicate telepathically, have the same world views and values as well as engage in exactly the same hobbies. But: You need to have some things in common: Those, which are important to both of you. Healthy differences in fact can complement and thus enrich your lives.
This builds the bridge to the second ingredient: Willingness to compromise. Oh dear, one of my weak-spots in previous relationships. “I don’t like your personality, attitude or habits.” How superficial. Anyway, good judgement comes from experience and experience comes from bad judgement. Now I know that willingness to compromise is key to a happy life in general and hope you do too.
Last but by no means least is emotional stability. You cannot love someone without fearing to lose her. Love and fear are two expressions on the same emotional scale and alternate depending on your mood and… …stability. Stability comes from knowing yourself and your mission and aims in life. The more confident you’re, the calmer you behave when the stuff hits the fan. And it will in every relationship…
How to build fulfilling relationships
There’s no one-size-fits-all recipe for a love-pill, which leads to everlasting attraction, a continuous stream of romantic moments and progressive mutual growth. However, there’re some dos and don’ts:
- Find a good match: Our modern “developed” world creates the illusion of perfection. You’ve to look like a model, be successful like a superstar and live a happy life until everyone commits suicide upon your death since there’s no reason for them to live on without you. Drop the idea of perfection. Seek for a good match, not the perfect one. Someone who’s flawed but complements you. Otherwise you’ll die alone.
- Learn to compromise: This is a skill, not a talent. Latter are overrated anyway. Nurture beats nature always. Genes make up only a quarter of most attributes in life. No excuses. Discipline yourself rather than your partner. But: Define some must-haves. Find someone who embodies them. Then learn to deal with her imperfections exposing along the way.
- Learn and grow together: In a relationship, switch into a beginner mindset. Discover the individuality of your partner with curiosity and appreciate it for what is: A mirror to your self and chance to learn from each other. Instead of judging, you want to seek for growth opportunities. Everyone has something to teach you. Just open your eyes, ears and soul.