Why You Aren’t Finding Anyone You Have Chemistry With

Dating wasn’t any level of hell in Dante’s Inferno. But it can sure feel like one sometimes. We generally think it’s a natural process. It’s all about chemistry. You meet someone. You like them. They like you and boom! The magic happens. Cue music. Except it doesn’t always work that way. Not in real life. Sometimes you date someone and they drop off the face of the planet, right when things were just getting interesting. What was it a fear of commitment? Did they meet someone else or get back with their ex? Or else they owed money to the mob. There isn’t much you can do at this point, except pick yourself up and keep going. Then there is for some a worse situation, a kind of dating purgatory. This is when you meet people all the time. You date and date and don’t have chemistry with any of them. What do you do? Some say chemistry is over-rated. It is compatibility you are looking for. Chemistry fades as soon as the “honeymoon phase” has worn off. Then if compatibility isn’t there, there are few things to keep the couple together. Others think you should hold out for someone who knocks you off your feet. So what is the best way forward if you aren’t finding chemistry with anyone you are dating?

You shouldn’t spend a significant amount of time with someone just because you want someone there. But if you have been on a significant number of dates or spent time with lots of would-be suitors and have no feelings at all toward any of them, consider where you are. What is your selection process like? Are you being too picky? Sometimes we want everything in a mate and refuse to settle. But we forget that each of us is a human being. We all have our faults. Consider giving it a rest for now. Focus on yourself. Then come back at it fresh. But begin looking at your dating life from another point of view. Some people are very goal oriented. But one’s love life rarely fits into the plans we’ve made for it. Usually, we say we want something specific and someone comes along and mucks it all up. There are those who have started to realize that their choices in past lovers may have not been the best. Chemistry can sometimes push us toward those who are not healthy for us. It is best to resist it then. But don’t think you will be stuck in limbo forever. Your system only has to be reconnoitered. Just be patient and wait for someone who gives you that “wow” factor and is also good for you.

There are those who find that nerves get in the way. It is often those people who are very reserved. Others are shy and introverted and take time to get used to others. Chemistry cannot be formed when one is experiencing high anxiety, or when one’s date is. Spend a little time with the person who is nice but whom you aren’t sure about. If you or they are nervous or seem to be, spend time in a setting that is comfortable for the uncomfortable person, on their home turf. If you just aren’t sure about them and nervousness doesn’t factor in, try and see them from a different vantage point. A new context or different environment can bring out other sides of a person, ones you may be more attracted to or less so. Take them out with friends, bring them along on a hike or do some volunteer work together. Realize that compatibility with a little bit of chemistry makes for a better long-term relationship than the other way around. You can do novel things together to turn that spark into an inferno. But compatibility on the other hand is an either have it or you don’t scenario. Realize that a love life just doesn’t work the way other aspects of our life like family, friends, or our career does. Those things are relatively straightforward. But a vibrant love life takes patience, confidence, and a great attitude and the ability to start over, to come out the other side unscathed and smiling. Just be yourself. Be happy, open, curious, and practice nonjudgment towards others. Sooner or later someone you fancy will be knocking on your heart’s door. For more on better ways to travail the often bitter landscape of the human heart readThe Secret Laws of Attraction: The Effortless Way to Get the Relationship You Want by Talane Miedaner.

Reminiscing Can Renew Your Relationship

Senior Couple Lounging on a Wood Deck

Reminiscing Can Renew Your Relationship

Of course we have to discuss the day-to-day upkeep of the household and so on with our partner, but this can get dull fast. However, sometimes when you’re sitting around, talking about the old days you can get to laughing and really get the old engines purring. Reminiscing can renew your relationship, so says a study out of the University of Queensland.

Just last year psychologists Kim Halford and Susan Osgarby sought out to test positive reminisce as a tool to boost relationships. Participants were all married for at least one year and ranged in age from 21 to 65. They all had varying degrees of marital satisfaction. None were in couple’s therapy. Two groups were created from this one pool. There were 27 put in one group and 25 in the other. Each person was asked to describe a “really positive relationship memory.” Then each partner proceeded to spend five minutes explaining one. Important events in their life together such as the birth of a child, their wedding, holidays, and shared successes such as buying their home.

Happy couples were more intimate than distressed ones as shown by this study. Happy couples became even happier sharing their reminiscences together, while distressed couples became sad. Researchers believe this is because they realize how much happier they had once been.  Happy couples seemed to be telling the stories jointly, joining in and adding facts or color as the other went on.  They elaborated on one another’s comments and this seemed to make them happier too. For happy couples even negative things that happened in their life were recalled positively. Happy couples even hugged and shared close behavior, which was absent in the distressed couples.

A lesson to learn from this study is not taking part in negativity in your relationship. Distressed couples criticize, invalidate and take part in negative behaviors towards one another. This reminiscing can make you sad if you are in a distressed relationship. If so, realize when negative behaviors pop up. Agree to take a time out at these times, and come back later with clearer thoughts and discuss calmly the issues at hand. Reminisce often. Get those old feelings flowing again. If reminiscing makes you happy let it renew your relationship. If not find out why and fix it. For more advice read, Renewing Your Wows!- Seven Powerful Tools to Ignite the Spark and Transform Your Relationship by Jeffrey H. Sumber.

The Most Expensive Weddings Lead to the Shortest Marriages

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The Most Expensive Weddings Lead to the Shortest Marriages

The price on weddings has risen significantly in recent years. So-called “normal” couples today incorporate detailed websites, photo booths and giant ice sculptures into their marriages, and even throw weekend-long events. The industry likes to marry the idea of love and commitment with how much is spent. But although most of us scour the plan looking for ways of saving a few dollars, some wish money was no object. They secretly drool over celebrity-style affairs in exotic locales, taking place in lavish venues where so many luxuries abound their guests’ heads spin. We dream of becoming a part of what looks like modern day royalty. But be careful what you wish for. All of that style may be hiding a lack of substance, according to a study out of Emory University. You would think those who shell out the most mean it the most. But this study found the opposite to be true. The most expensive weddings lead to the shortest marriages. Two economics professors came to this conclusion. They also found that the higher the price-tag for the engagement ring, the greater the likelihood of divorce.

3,000 participants, married only one time, took part in this study. They found that those men who spent $500 to $2,000 were 1.3 times less likely to get divorced than those who spent $2,000 and $4,000. Those who spent $5,000 to $10,000 on the wedding were 3.5 times less likely to get divorced than those who shelled out over $20,000. In an email to Big Think researchers wrote, “Advertising has fueled the norm that spending large amounts on the engagement ring and wedding is an indication of commitment or is helpful for a marriage to be successful.” Though they’ve found a correlation, determining causation is far trickier. The economists surmise that such a big event inflates the expectations of the marriage. The couple is enchanted into the notion that things are going to be easy from here on out. Both parties have unrealistic expectations which undermine reconciliation when the couple hits a stumbling block. Those who have a more moderately priced affair have a level-headed view and so are ready when the inevitable difficulties arise.

No matter how much you plunk down for your wedding, there are some qualities that can be sustained by both parties to give the marriage the best chance of success. The first is to focus on the positive rather than the negative. There are little things that will inevitably drive you crazy. But if you can remember how supportive and understanding they are, you can perhaps overlook the hair they leave in the shower drain or that they are never once on-time. Invest in your relationship. This could be time, energy or thoughtfulness. But you get out of a marriage what you put into it. Communicate clearly and make sure you understand what your spouse has said or is saying. Lots of fights boil down to miscommunication. Fight smart. If you hurt your partner but win the argument, have you really won? Learn to let the little things go. And find ways to increase your closeness and strengthen your bond. For more on how to achieve marital success read, Strong Marriage, Happy Life: The Core Principles of a Successful Marriage and How to Make Your Marriage Work by Sonya Dawson.

Use Capitalization to Strengthen Relationships

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Use Capitalization to Strengthen Relationships

Lots of people worry about how they will weather the bad times when they get married. But celebrating your spouse or partner is really what keeps a relationship strong and able to weather the inevitable storms that will rock it. Relationship experts say that feeling underappreciated is one of the biggest causes for divorce and breakups. Being neglected or taken for granted are some things that few couples think about or prepare against. Psychologists suggest using capitalization to strengthen relationships. This is to celebrate the little and big accomplishments in your partner’s life. Show them how much you appreciate them and how special you think they are.

There are lots of opportunities throughout life to celebrate your lover’s big and small accomplishments. And studies have shown that it doesn’t merely affect the object of this positive attention. You yourself feel more positive when celebrating your significant other. Supporting a partner can be tricky. You don’t know what form the support should take. Should you merely listen, validate them or offer advice? A wrong choice can get their ire pointed at you. But appreciation and celebration are always valued and will strengthen your bond, your connection and your relationship overall.

A professor of psychological and brain sciences at the University of California, Santa Barbara was the lead author on this study. She told the Wall St. Journal, “You need to participate in relationships to keep them alive,” and that means doing little things for your partner, showing your appreciation and celebrating their accomplishments big and small. When you appreciate your partner you realize what a great one you have, and it makes them feel special and also feel that your relationship is something special too. Postdoctoral scholar at the Institute of Personality and Social Research at the University of California, Berkeley Amy Gordon has a word of warning however, “Appreciation is tied up with expectations. The more you expect something, the less you appreciate it.” So don’t celebrate or do the same thing to appreciate them every time or else they will come to expect it, and instead of boosting the relationship you’ll soon be bringing it down. Switch up the means of appreciation. One Friday night you can take your partner out to dinner. The next time you can make them breakfast or bring them a coffee. For more on using thankfulness to improve your life read, The Gratitude Power Workbook: Transform Fear into Courage, Anger into Forgiveness, Isolation into Belonging by Nina Lesowitz & Mary Beth Sammons.

Study Reveals who’s More Romantic, College Guys or Girls

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Study Reveals who’s More Romantic, College Guys or Girls

Whether it’s that beautiful romance or the fun of playing the field, college for most people is one of the most exciting and pivotal times in their dating life. Noting the importance of this time in one’s life, researchers decided to answer the question of who’s more romantic, college guys or girls, and the study reveals some interesting results. Undergraduate men were far more likely to choose a romantic relationship over education and career goals according to the study. These results threaten to turn traditional notions of gender roles on their head. But not so fast. One question, however, is how a romantic relationship is defined. Are they talking about true love, marriage and children or merely a chance to get under the sheets with someone who’s caught his eye?

Duke University’s Medical Center’s Catherine Mosher and the University of Albany’s Sharon Danoff-Burg conducted surveys on undergraduate university students. 80 male students and 157 female students participated, ranging in age from 16 to 25. Reaching goals in different relationships such as family, friends, romantic relationships, marriage and children were measured by the questions in the survey. Goals outlined were financial success, physical fitness, travel, owning a home, career and education success and societal contributions. How much they were willing to sacrifice for romance was also measured.

The results were that both genders felt the need to achieve goals individually but also in their romantic relationships. 51% of female students chose romance over personal goals, compared to 61% of male students. “Charming companions” were more easily traded for travel, educational and career goals. The number of female students choosing a relationship over their career goals came out to 20% compared to 35% of male students. 15% of female students would jettison their education goals for love while 30% of male students said they would do the same. In an interview with LiveScience Mosher said, “I think that those are the issues in which people find tension often in real life, between having a career and making time for relationships.” But how romance was defined wasn’t clear. Were guys really into relationships or were they more than likely letting biology do the thinking for them? According to Kruger, “Maybe for the men they’re thinking close romantic relationship, but that doesn’t necessarily mean long-term commitment of getting married and having children.”

In terms of evolution and traditionally men strived for high status in order to have access to a higher or wider pool perhaps of potential mates. Kruger says, “So in a way it’s kind of like saying, you’re doing all this stuff to strive for something, but if you can get that ‘thing’ without additional striving, wouldn’t you?” Women on the other hand had been so focused on their career and educational goals that they didn’t want any relationship to come in and mess up their plans. Heterosexual men also get more emotional support from the opposite sex. For more on how to balance career and romantic goals pick up a copy of, Married to the Job! How to Balance Your Relationship and Career in the 21st Century (Love Lockdown Series) by Steve Cain.