Being single and looking for love can feel like you are seeking a needle in a haystack. This is especially true in times when the number of singles is higher than ever and we seem to have an endless number of choices. Who to pick? Who to choose? Finding "The One" can appear to be a mission impossible.
Research has shown that the more alternatives we have, the less likely we are to make a decision. For example, in one study when people in a supermarket were presented with 24 types of jam they got confused and walked away without buying any of the jars. When, on the other hand, people were given only six flavours to choose from, they were more likely to make a purchase.
Transfer that insight to the world of online dating, where there are thousands of eligible singles lining up for you. Some are good-looking, some sporty, some share your interests, some seem kind, some live close. Arrgh.
Other research has shown that people become surer of their choice once they have committed. This suggests that while shopping around you can find flaws and faults in everyone, but once you have said "I'm going to date this guy", you will find him more attractive. It's like your brain is pushing criticism away from you, once you have made a decision.
How important are looks?
Looks are of course of importance in the beginning of a relationship. There are studies saying what kind of features most people fancy (hip-to-waist ratios, etc). But there are also studies saying that we tend to think that those who look a little bit like ourselves are hot.
Other research tells us we get drawn to men with a certain smell, created by hormones implicating that the person has a specific DNA string matching ours.
Is there a fail-safe formula for finding love?
I don't think there is a certain formula for picking a partner. If you are brought up in a religious family, you will probably be attracted to spiritual people. If your family believed having money was important, you will seek a rich and ambitious man.
Values and beliefs mean a lot, and finding a partner who shares your view of "good and bad" will make the relationship more enjoyable in the long run.
Strategy is key
The best strategy for finding that special someone is to know yourself and what kind of relationship you want. When you are aware of who you are and what you believe in, you will look in the right direction, and avoid getting led astray by a hot six-pack or a smooth-talking flirt.
- What kind of partner you wish to have;
- What kind of relationship you want and how you wish to relate;
- What you are proud of about yourself and why you would be a great catch; and
- What matters to you in life and what you believe in.
Many, many, many women end up in lousy relationships because they have not done this homework. They instead:
- Look for a man to save them or make them happy;
- Attract men who treat them badly because they think that's what they deserve;
- Go for looks because they have not defined what is really important;
- Are never satisfied with anyone because they don't know what they want; and
- Are scared of falling in love, hence seek the wrong partners.
You can start a journey towards love by being committed to this goal. Say "I want it, I deserve it and I am going to find him". What do you need to do today to make that happen? Let's go!
Related video: More advice from Carolin Dahlman