How to find love
Finding a partner with whom to share a life is a wonderful but frequently difficult process. Whether it’s conducted online or in-person, the search will likely push an individual into unfamiliar settings to encounter potential partners. To be successful, it is often necessary to go outside of one’s comfort zone.
Determining whether a particular person is suitable as a potential mate, and whether a connection reflects temporary infatuation or true love, can be challenging, but research suggests that there are revealing clues in behavior.
One possibly counterintuitive indicator of a potential match is one’s sense of self. Someone who would make a good partner may push an individual to discover new activities or beliefs that expand their own self-concept. Another early signifier may be stress: Repeatedly interacting with someone whose impression matters deeply to us can fuel anxiety. Other positive indicators include being highly motivated to see the person and investing a significant amount of time, emotion, and energy into the budding relationship.
How Relationships Fail
Every relationship represents a leap of faith for at least one partner, and even in the happiest couples, the very traits that once attracted them to each other can eventually become annoyances that drive them apart. Acquiring the skills to make a connection last is hard work, and threats may spring up without notice. In short-term, casual relationships, neither partner may see a truly viable long-term future together, but often only one takes action, in some cases ghosting the other, walking out of their lives with no communication, not even a text.
For some couples, infidelity is both the first and last straw, but a surprising number of relationships survive betrayal, some only to have their connection upended by everyday threats such as a loss of interest in physical intimacy, or a waning of positive feeling in the wake of constant criticism, contempt, or defensiveness. Even staying together for decades is no guarantee that a couple will remain connected: The divorce rate for couples over 50 has doubled since 1990.
Some people can walk away from years of marriage and instantly feel unburdened. For others, the end of a relationship that lasted just a few dates can trigger emotional trauma that lingers for years. However a breakup plays out, it can be a major stress or with an effect on ego and self-esteem that cannot be ignored.