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Monthly Archives: June 2016

Loves Me or Not?

Is it true that you will probably be pulled in to somebody who is into you? Alternately do you like those that don’t respond your advantage? This is one of those situations where your instincts may not be right. You should be cool and make light of your enthusiasm for somebody to motivate them to like you, isn’t that so? Nope; things being what they are there’s a considerable measure of examination demonstrating that we tend to like those individuals who like us right back.

That is just fine, yet in this present reality at times it’s not clear how somebody feels about you. Possibly they are sending blended flags or you’re getting clashing data about their enthusiasm from your shared companions. On the other hand you won’t not have any thought how they feels about you since you’re excessively terrified, making it impossible to try and converse with them. Basically, what happens when you are indeterminate about their sentiments about you? Do you like them less or more?

A new paper published in the journal Psychological Science (which is sponsored by the Association for Psychological Science, a.k.a., APS), Whitechurch, Wilson, and Gilbert (researchers at the University of Virginia and Harvard, respectively) tackles this question. In their study they randomly assigned female participants to receive one of three types of feedback from four men who had viewed their Facebook profile. In the first condition, they were told that these men had given them high ratings (i.e., “based on looking at your Facebook profile, these men thought they would really like you”); in the second condition they received lukewarm feedback from these men (i.e., “these men thought they would like you about average”). They were then asked to rate how much they liked these men. Not surprisingly, and consistent with past research, the female participants reported being more attracted to the men who liked them the most.

What about uncertainty? In a third condition, the women were told that they had no information about what these men though about them (“they might have seen your Facebook profile and liked you. Or they might have given you average ratings”). It turns out that the female participants liked these men most of all!

In their additional analyses, the researchers looked at the psychological processes operating along with uncertainty. They note that when we are uncertain we ruminate about things more. In their analysis they show that women receiving uncertain feedback spent more time thinking about their male counterparts, and thus liked them more.

The bottom line, at least for you men out there, is that the lack of information about your interest will turn women on more so than letting her know you like her or don’t. The less information she has about how you feel about her, the more uncertain she will be, the more she’ll think about you, and the more she’ll like you. At some point you’ll probably have to tip your hand and let her know how you feel, but if you can keep her waiting a bit, it might make her more attracted to you. Just don’t be a jerk about it! (that last comment is just an editorial comment, not necessarily something that comes from this research 🙂

It’s important to note that all of the participants in this study were female; future work will hopefully see if these results extend to men’s attraction to their female suitors as well. But the findings certainly are interesting and have direct implications for those early interactions between partners when they’re still gauging each others’ interest.

Place to Meet Someone?, Where?

Rather than simply giving a top ten list of where individuals meet, we’re arming you with the basic principles at play during initial encounters:

# Tend to be similar to people who are nearby. You probably chose your particular college, job, or place to live for the same reason as others. “Birds of a feather flock together” and people tend to be attracted to similar others.2 So, to meet a partner you need to go to the places where those similar to you hang out. Clubs or groups that you are passionate about, as well as classes or other community organizations, are a good starting place.

# Physical closeness leads to psychological closeness. You have to interact with a person to have a relationship with him or her, and being around each other ups the chances of having an interaction. Potential partners are all around– in your neighborhood, in one of your classes, in your church, or in a cubicle down the hall. Not only does physical proximity increase the odds of meeting and interacting with someone, but just seeing a person a lot can lead you to like them more (known as the “mere exposure effect”).1 The girl (or guy) next door will have an advantage in winning your heart because you see that person more often. Like a fungus, she (or he) is going to grow on you whether you realize it or not.

# Don’t overlook the role of social networks in introducing you to others.3 Roughly half of all relationships begin when individuals are introduced to each other by a mutual acquaintance, and two out of three people know members of their partners’ social networks prior to meeting. Social networks also take an active role in selecting particularly suitable mates. The moral of this story is that if you don’t like your current pool of dating partners, it might be time to get some new friends.

This article was adapted from the book The Science of Relationships: Answer Your Questions about Dating, Marriage, & Family.

Interested in learning more about relationships? Click here for other topics on Science of Relationships. Like us on Facebook to get our articles delivered directly to your NewsFeed.

1Zajonc, R. B. (1968). Attitudinal effects of mere exposure. Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, 9, 1-27.

2Byrne, D. (1971). The attraction paradigm. New York: Academic Press.

3Parks, M. R. (2007). Personal Relationships and Personal Networks. Mahwah, NJ:  Lawrence Erlbaum Associates.

Know The Reason Why Breaking Up So Painful

breaking-up-so-painfulIt’s an all inclusive feeling. Your accomplice was excessively inaccessible, or you were too candidly joined, however whatever the reasons, you wound up on the wrong side of a separation. You go after the frozen yogurt and get ready for the downpour of feelings.

We’ve all been in this position some time recently. Those of us who have encountered love have presumably experienced harmed too—But why? What variables add to a terrible separation, and what exacerbates a few breakups than others? Through connections research, we can reveal why a few breakups appear to be generally effortless and why others appear to delay into forever.

Numerous elements add to the way we prepare data, so it bodes well that numerous elements additionally add to how upset we feel after a breakup. For example, a survey study1 on young adults’ reactions to a recent breakup revealed multiple influences on their feelings of distress, including how the relationship started, what the relationship was like, how the relationship ended, and how each partner perceived relationships in general.

Specifically, people felt more distress after the breakup when they had pursued the relationship in the first place, when they felt more satisfied and committed during the relationship, and when they had a longer-lasting relationship. People also felt more distress when they didn’t initiate the breakup and when they thought their partner was interested in someone else (in other words, when they felt like they had been “left” for another partner). Finally, people’s thoughts, feelings, and beliefs about relationships—that is, their attachment style—influenced their distress; people who were more anxiously-attached (who desire excessive closeness and tend to be clingy) felt more distress after the breakup.

Other research supports the idea that our attachment style shapes how we react to breakups. For instance, an online survey2 of over 5,000 participants showed that anxiously-attached people tended to react to breakups with feelings of distress, as well as with a whole host of other negative emotions and behaviors, including self-blame, anger, depression, and even obsessive thoughts and attempts to get back together with their ex. On the other hand, avoidantly-attached people (who feel uncomfortable being close to and needing others) tended to react by…well…avoiding others, including ex-partners and potential new partners, as well as friends or family who might be able to support them. In contrast, securely-attached people (who feel comfortable being close to and relying on partners) tended to react by turning to friends or family for support.

Securely-attached people seem to have the right idea when it comes to coping with the end of a relationship, according to another survey study3 of young adults’ adjustment to breakups. This work highlights the links between people’s attachment styles and their social connectedness (that is, their general sense of support from their social environment, such as their friends, family, and community). This study suggests that people who were securely-attached believed that they had a supportive social environment that could help them through distressing times. And the stronger the social support system people believed they had outside of their romantic relationship, the better they were able to adjust after that relationship ended.

Although there seems to be no cure (yet) for a broken heart, this research suggests that many factors can help make heartbreak less painful. In fact, one of the biggest determinants of how you react to a breakup may be the kind of attachment style you have. Feeling comfortable with closeness, feeling confident in yourself, and feeling secure in your ability to find love can set you up to handle a breakup with a clear head and an open heart. Furthermore, having a strong support system to help you through stressful times can ease the blow of a breakup. So put down the ice cream, call up your friends, and surround yourself with people who can remind you to love yourself and stay optimistic even in the toughest times.

1Sprecher, S., Felmlee, D., Metts, S., Fehr, B., & Vanni, D. (1998). Factors associated with distress following the breakup of a close relationship. Journal of Social and Personal Relationships, 15(6), 791-809.

2Davis, D., Shaver, P. R., & Vernon, M. L. (2003). Physical, emotional, and behavioral reactions to breaking up: The roles of gender, age, emotional involvement, and attachment style. Personality and Social Psychology Bulletin, 29(7), 871-884.

3Moller, N. P., Fouladi, R. T., McCarthy, C. J., & Hatch, K. D. (2003). Relationship of attachment and social support to college students’ adjustment following a relationship breakup. Journal of Counseling & Development, 81(3), 354-369.