Sometimes meeting & falling in love with someone seems like pure chance - you can't make it happen - you can only wait and hope that it happens to you, right? Actually, wrong! Truth is, once you've met someone special, science shows us there are some simple "shortcuts" to bonding deeply with a romantic partner. Here's 5 of them (Source: E. Barker):
- No more boring date nights: no more dull dinners telling the same stories and hoping you have fun. Seduction involves a degree of surprise, which is generally the first thing that disappears after you’ve been in a relationship, and why there’s no more seducing that goes on. Everything is familiar and you’re no longer surprised by the other person. As Arthur Aron (Researcher on romantic love) says: “After a while, things are sort of settled and there isn’t much excitement, so what can you do? Do things that are exciting that you associate with your partner. Reinvigorate that excitement and the main way to make them associated with the partner is to do them with your partner.”
- Don’t reduce the negative. Increase the positive: we spend a lot of time trying to fix things in our relationships. Turns out we’ve got it backwards. Unless they’re critical, don’t focus on reducing the negatives. Couples thrive when they increase the positive things. Research suggests that how we support people during good times, more than bad times, affects the quality of a relationship. Research shows trying to change people doesn’t work. So ignore the bad stuff & increase the good stuff.
- Get to know them. Really get to know them: couples who communicate are 62% more likely to describe their relationship as happy. In studies of marriages of various lengths, couples with a high degree of intimacy between the husband and wife—that is, couples who shared their innermost thoughts—were 62 percent more likely to describe their marriage as happy. Emotional, personal information exchange promotes powerful feelings of connection. Asking and answering the right questions can create a lifelong bond in just one hour.
- Reminisce about the times you laughed: you don’t need to be together very long to do this. What made you two crack up on those initial dates? Bring it up and have another laugh about it. Couples who reminisced about events involving shared laugher reported higher relationship satisfaction. And here’s a bonus: the more time you spend laughing, the less time you have to spend on arguing.
- Pretend you’re on your first date again: on first dates we make an effort and effort draws people together. In a follow-up study researchers told participants to make an effort with their partners and then their enjoyment of the social interaction improved in line with their predictions. This suggests we can all have more fun with our partners and friends if we make an effort.