- Know your ideals. Take some time to decide what traits you want in a future boyfriend, girlfriend, lover, or spouse. Also, evaluate what traits you will offer them in return as well. It may be helpful to pay attention to the “big” categories of warmth/trustworthiness, attractiveness/vitality, and status/resources. Just ranking them in terms of importance can help. For example, is it more important that your future partner be attractive, high status, or trustworthy? Similarly, how do you rank on those criteria too? (Note: If you want all of those things, to the max, then you might want to work on being the “whole package” yourself too!)
- Explore your feelings. Pay attention to your emotions and note who you find attractive. Are there any common features? Do you have a “type” that you seem to select over and over again? Stay mindful of these feelings and emotional reactions. As best you can, identify the feelings that tell you who you find unconsciously attractive. Also, if you can identify traits and features that seem to repeatedly “trigger” strong feelings in you, keep an eye out for them too. (Note: You will likely find that the features that trigger your unconscious emotional attraction to a person are very different from the features that you consciously want in an ideal partner.)
- Initially, go with your “gut feelings” of attraction. Your unconscious feelings will play a large part in who you initially “choose” for a date or mate. They are also largely out of your control. Thus, while you cannot change how you feel, you can use it to your advantage. Essentially, once you are mindful of what you find attractive, use those feelings to “narrow down” the list of potential partners. If your “gut” says yes (or even maybe), then keep them as an option.
- Remember to check for conscious compatibility too. Finally, don’t let your emotions run away with the whole decision. Feeling attraction is only the first step. not the thaifriendly phone number whole process. So, remember to screen and evaluate those attractive, potential partners for longer-term compatibility too. Do they have the traits that you want? Do you have what they are looking for in return too? When you identify someone who matches your pattern of preferences (and you match their preferences too), then you have found a good long-term relationship partner. Enjoy!
It can be confusing to pick the right partner for a satisfying relationship. At times, conscious criteria and unconscious emotions seem to disagree. As we have found, however, both are important. Only by paying attention to what you feel and what you think, can you truly find a satisfying, long-term partner. Therefore, it is essential to find that mutual emotional “spark” of attraction, but not get lost in it-at least until you decide you are both consciously compatible too!
The above research offers some important clues for identifying and choosing a satisfying relationship partner
- Both conscious ideals and unconscious emotions are important. Finally, Eastwick and associates (2013) wrapped up their findings with a concise model of relationship choices over time. Before individuals meet a potential mate, they form thoughtful ideas in their minds about the traits they want in that future partner (labeled “Abstract Construal”). When they make initial contact with a potential partner, however, they primarily rely on unconscious, implicit emotions to choose (labeled “Romantic Affect”). Then later, after relationships are established, individuals begin to evaluate their romantic partners against their conscious, ideal preferences once again. Therefore, to predict who an individual will ultimately end up with as a long-term mate requires knowing a) what features they are unconsciously attracted to, and b) what features they consciously decide are compatible. Put simply, to predict an individual’s relationship choices, it is important to know what unconsciously “turns them on” and what consciously “they want” for the long-term too.