Love & Lust
Rethink your dating checklist.
I have a friend who, by all accounts, is what you’d classify as a bona fide catch. But spend five minutes on the topic of relationships with my gal pal and she’ll give it to you straight – there are no good guys out there. Going off her checklist, she’s looking for someone who’s tall with blue eyes and shares her enthusiasm for organic farmers’ markets. Seems reasonable, right? Well, according to psychology professor and author of The Science Of Happily Ever After, Dr Ty Tashiro, my mate’s probably never going to find love because all of her needs are materialistic. Before you rip this article out and burn it to a pile of ash, read on – he might have a point.
The Science Behind Love
Dr Tashiro says there is a science behind finding Mr Right. “Imagine there are 100 eligible bachelors and you want someone who is six feet or taller. Only 20 per cent of men meet this criteria, so 80 of the 100 men would leave,” Dr Tashiro explains. “If you want someone with a tertiary education, another 16 of the remaining 20 would leave.” If you’ve got a checklist full of things like a love of organic food, you’re quickly going to find yourself in an empty room. If we agree with Dr Tashiro’s concept, the bigger you make your checklist, the harder it will be to find someone who meets all of your criteria.
Out With The Old
We’re always banging on about how guys are superficial when it comes to dating, but maybe we’re just as bad. “In studies looking at what men and women actually prioritise while choosing partners, researchers find that women spend two of their three wishes on looks and money.” While there’s nothing wrong with wanting someone who’s attractive and cashed up, Dr Tashiro warns our tendency to search for the richest, hottest hunk is lousy in terms of long-term relationship satisfaction. “We’re often captivated by partners who are exciting and really absorbed in the relationship from the start,” he explains. However, he says these types of partners are “novelty seekers” who love the excitement of the chase. “So, it’s no surprise that novelty seekers are also more likely to become bored with things, including you,” he says.
New Wish List
While there’s no one-size-fits-all approach to falling in love, Dr Tashiro’s argument raises the question as to whether we’re focusing on the wrong kinds of things from guys and overlooking the boring (but necessary) nitty-gritty of relationships, like trust and stability. “One of the best things partners can do is to respond with interest and enthusiasm to the small victories we experience,” Dr Tashiro advises. He says it’s not uncommon for someone to respond with a lack of enthusiasm when they’re not invested in the relationship. So what should be in our top three wishes? Dr Tashiro’s method calls for starting with traits that are must-haves and finishing with a couple of things you would like and then circle the top three. “By being clear about the things you want in a relationship, [you can be] stubborn about finding someone who embodies those characteristics,” he explains. If you need more guidance, he suggests writing down “emotional stability”. While it doesn’t sound as sexy as baby-blue eyes, Dr Tashiro says it’s a sure bet for a long, happy relationship.