Most of us can recall our first crush: the heartbreak and unrequited love. But there are qualities you can improve to make sure you don’t feel that again. Scroll down to find out more:
Research has shown there are certain qualities that are desirable in a mate and if you find yourself in that all-encompassing existence of having feelings for someone, they just might help turn your crush into your newfound bae. So, let’s get started and see if it’s possible to get you from “me” to “we!”
Quality 1: Self-confidence
The idea of needing to love yourself first before being able to love someone else might just make you ragey, but the basic principle is that when we care for ourselves, our relationships are healthier. This could stem from people’s ability to sense when someone lacks self-worth, and for many this can be a deterrent. In fact, if you meet someone who finds this quality really attractive, run…
Good ol’ Dr. Phil has explained more than once that we teach people how to treat us through the behaviors we allow and those we don’t – also known as our personal boundaries. If we don’t think we’re worthy of kindness and respect, oftentimes others will knowingly (or unknowingly) mirror those feelings back through their actions and treat you disrespectfully.
So, thinking you’re the bees knees — without going overboard, of course — will likely make you just as desirable to others as well!
Quality 2: Kindness
It’s common sense that we gravitate towards, and want to stick with, people who treat us well, but a study conducted by the University of Chicago has gone and proven it. When surveyed, respondents who answered, “I’m willing to sacrifice my own wishes to let the one I love achieve his or hers,” were more likely to have a marriage they described as “very happy.”
The researchers came to the conclusion that altruistic acts made others fall more deeply in love and created longer-lasting, more satisfying relationships. Kindness for the win!
Quality 3: Playing hard to get
Oh no; there it is! Playing hard to get is something we ALL say we hate, but at the same time, we can’t deny that an air of mystery can be very alluring.
This phenomenon, known as The Scarcity Principle, is the desire which stems from the idea of not being able to have something. Think about the excitement you feel when you learn about a “flash sale” or when learning an item is “personalized” and you’ll have a better understanding of how it works. And just as much as this works for designer handbags and a new set of golf irons, it works for people as well.
So, making someone work a little for you isn’t necessarily a bad thing. Just don’t go overboard with it.
Quality 4: Having a symmetrical face
Researchers have proven that females of many species unconsciously prefer males with symmetrical faces, because symmetry is perceived to represent his genetic health (and thus the health of their potential offspring). A study published in the journal “Infant Behavior & Development” discovered that this selection process starts way earlier than adulthood. When infants were shown photos of different types of faces, they too demonstrated a significant visual preference for those which were symmetrical.
If you’re unsure what a symmetrical face looks like, check out the following photo of Matt Bomer. He’s pretty much one of the best examples there is.
Quality 5: Being similar
OK, so you might have hated reading that playing hard-to-get actually works, but perhaps we can cheer you up by dispelling a different oft-repeated attraction “fact.”
Opposites actually don’t attract. A recent study published showed that humans prefer others whose values and outlook mirror their own. In the beginning, someone who is different than you might appear exotic and exciting, but if over time, there aren’t enough things to keep you connected, the relationship usually fizzles out.
Quality 6: Having a Fido
Note: this quality only works if the person you’re crushing on isn’t terrified of dogs.
A study or two has discovered that you’ll be more highly looked upon if you have a dog, as people perceive you as happier, easier to get to know and pretty darn chill. Unsurprisingly, most consider these great qualities in a mate!
Don’t have a Fido of your own? Borrow one – another study found that just being seen with a dog makes you more attractive.
Quality 7: Attentiveness
The Science of Happily Ever After, a book written by psychologist Ty Tashiro, outlines the scientifically-proven link between responding to a partner’s “bid for attention” and long-lasting relationships. This doesn’t sound like rocket science, but it’s a good reminder that trying your best to always listen and attend to your partner’s needs will create trust and intimacy – two essential ingredients for healthy, long-lasting bonds between people.
Quality 8: Smelling goooood
Cologne and perfume makers, it isn’t necessarily time to rejoice, because we’re talking pheromones here. Pheromones are scent-related chemicals released by humans and other species which have many different biological effects. When pheromones are sexually-related, they act like potent aphrodisiacs.
Fun Fact: This is especially true when women are ovulating. The pheromones women produce during ovulation are very powerful, and at the same time, they find the ones coming from men incredibly enticing. So, although you may love dousing yourself in your favourite eau de love, be careful! By masking your natural pheromones, you might be thwarting Mother Nature’s magic!
Quality 9: Your geographical location
This is as UN rom-com as it gets, but the closer someone lives to you, the greater the chance that you will get in a relationship. It sounds obvious, but it’s worth mentioning because the effects are so powerful.
It all comes down to repeated exposure – essentially, when you live close to someone, there is a greater chance that you will run into that person more frequently. And when you up the times you see someone and think they’re kind of neat, that repeated exposure will intensify your feelings.
Repeated exposure works with all emotions, so if you dislike someone, continuously seeing them intensifies this emotion as well. So you better hope your close-by crush digs you too…
Quality 10: Where you’re at relationship-wise
Many of us – ahem – could probably admit that at some point in the past we tried to make something happen with a self-declared commitment-phobe in hopes they’d change their minds. And equally as likely: our efforts failed in a tornado of sadness and tears.
But just think of it this way: if right off the bat, when most of us are on our best behavior, someone says they’re not interested in monogamy and/or commitment and you are, trust that they’re telling the truth and go your separate ways! You’ll save yourself a lot of heartaches and possible drunk-texting regrets.
Quality 11: Having your own thing goin’ on
Many a Hollywood movie has taught us that the whole premise of love is about feeling incomplete until you finally find “The One.” This idea is not only unhealthy, but sets us up to be pretty darn dependent on another person for our happiness.
Bringing your own passions, values and ideas into your relationship allows you to maintain your sense of self, while also keepin’ your partner super interested in learning what you’re all about. Most of us like the idea of being challenged and being able to learn from others. Be the passionate person others can learn from and you’re way more likely to attract – and keep – a healthy and exciting relationship alive.
Quality 12: Vulnerability
Dr. Brené Brown, author and professor at the University of Houston, has devoted her career to researching shame, vulnerability and courage. She first shot to fame with her TED Talk in 2010 where she introduced the masses to the idea that laying out all the stuff you feel shameful about in front of someone you feel safe with is actually a really good idea.
As terrifying as this notion feels, it’s this authenticity which allows someone to feel truly connected to you — the real you — and is the “glue holds intimate relationships together.” Plus, hiding the parts of yourself you’re not so proud of only increases the chances that you’ll end up with a partner who won’t stick around when the truth comes out.
Quality 13: Physical attraction
Unfortunately, this one is one where either you have it, or you don’t. And although a symmetrical face will scientifically get you further (if you’re male, at least), someone finding you physically attractive has nothing to do with you, at least in a value judgment kind of way. It’s just one of those fingers-crossed sort of things.
But thankfully, there are 14 other qualities that help facilitate someone falling in love with you, so if you possess at least a few of the other qualities on this list, you’ve got a chance!
Quality 14: Looking like their parent
Again, this isn’t really something anyone can do anything about, but time and again people tend to fall for a person with looks similar to their parents — especially when they have a positive relationship with said parent. It’s weird to think about, but brains do tend to be weird a lot of the time.
Psychologists say that it stems back to the survival technique of being able to remember and recognize our parents’ features when we were very young. It imprints their facial features in our minds. Now, when it comes down to falling for someone as an adult, this isn’t always the way it works, but stats show it happens pretty darn frequently.
Quality 15: Being a master of the staring contest
Ok, so maybe this isn’t necessarily a quality, per say, but the fact is, staring into someone’s eyes — even someone you don’t already have a romantic relationship with, or don’t know at all — for two full minutes will cause the development of some pretty intense, even loving feelings.
Now, we don’t recommend staring down someone you just met, as that is likely only going to be hella uncomfortable for them, but the next time you see a person you dig, try and make eye contact to show that you’re interested. If they meet and hold your gaze, well, you just might be on the road to a love connection!
Quality 16: Your active listening skills
In our crazy, hectic world where we’re all forced to be Olympic-level multitaskers, it can be incredibly challenging to slow your mind and be present when you’re spending time with others. But we’ve all been in situations when someone is there in body only, and know how frustrating (and sometimes downright insulting) it feels.
Relationship and communication experts all agree that to form authentic bonds we need to shift away from our regular pattern of only listening to figure out when we can put our two cents in, toward listening to the meaning behind the words someone is saying and being fully engaged in the conversation you’re having.
This might be hard (technology’s speedy, short-form-filled style of communication has wrecked many of us), but whoever you’re talking to will notice the difference. And when we feel like someone genuinely cares about what we have to say, it’s hard not to form strong bonds with – and perhaps strong feelings about – that person.
Quality 17: Your top-notch memory
Yes, this quality might be just as challenging as #16, for the very same, too-many-things-on-my-plate rationale. However, making note of and remembering things going on in someone’s life is very helpful in relationships.
As mentioned in Quality 7, being attentive to the needs of others helps to facilitate strong connections. And this is also true when it comes to knowing about the little and not-so-little things which fill up your potential partner’s day.
So, make note of birthdays, anniversaries, and other milestones in whatever means you use to schedule your life. Even events like interviews, presentations or reunions with university friends all deserve to be asked about.
And the great thing about this habit is that it really doesn’t take much of your time, but is an excellent way to demonstrate that you care.
Quality 18: Taking good care of yourself
This quality does not mean that you must put in long hours at the gym or at the salon, or spend your retirement savings at the mall. All we’re saying is, when you invest time in your appearance and wellbeing, it signals to others that you care about yourself. In many ways, this could be an expression of Quality 1, self-confidence.
So the small things like being active, eating well, keepin’ up with your personal hygiene and dressing in clean and well-fitting clothes all add up to a pretty good first impression. When you feel you’re worth respecting and investing in, others will believe it as well!
Quality 19: Having similar body language
Communication experts say that when someone is interacting with you, 93% of the message they receive comes from your non-verbal communication signals. This includes the tone of your voice, your facial expressions, as well as your body language.
Maybe you have even noticed when speaking with someone that you both often end up in the same position: your legs are crossed the same way, you’ve shifted your weight to the same hip, or you’re holding your head at the same angle. This is called mirroring, and it sends a very powerful, yet subconscious message that you’re connecting and in sync.
As mentioned above, this often happens without us trying, but if you are into someone, attempting to subtly mirror his or her actions can be helpful. The key thing is to NOT make it obvious, or you’ll end up looking very awkward indeed, and possibly even slightly creepy. This is definitely not what you’re going for.
Quality 20: Being genuine
Filters, fillers, spray-on-this-and-that. Extensions, UV-adhered, padded in the front and back. There are so many options presented in our culture to save us from being anyone but ourselves (though it’s worth noting that if you genuinely enjoy these things, no offence intended) and there’s even more pressure in the beginning of a relationship to fake-away the traits you fear aren’t love-worthy. But it all takes so. much. effort. How long can any of us keep that up?
But when you think about it, in the long run, do you want someone to fall in love with the fake you, or the person you really are? Many humans have an odd sixth-sense where they’re able to sniff out when someone isn’t being authentic and over time, this begins to erode trust and create feelings of doubt. This is not a recipe for L.O.V.E.
So, take a deep breath and feel grounded in the fact that you, just the way you are, are worthy of a healthy relationship. If the current person you’re into doesn’t feel the same way, move on! As your Grandmother always used to say, “There are plenty of fish in the sea.” Go find yourself a new fish!
Lauren Brown MSc. WWHP, is a certified Health & Wellness Coach who loves teaching about all facets of health and wellbeing. Much of her time is spent in workplaces, helping empower employees to get healthy through the wellness programming initiatives and educational sessions she delivers. Please see www.inspiringhealth.ca for more information.