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10 Signs You’re Dating Someone Who Is Gonna Grow Old With You

10 Signs You’re Dating Someone Who Is Gonna Grow Old With You

Have you ever stopped to think about how the concept of “growing old with someone” almost seems archaic in today’s world?

I mean sure, exploring your romantic and sexual horizons is great, and it’s a valid rite of passage; but at the end of the day, you really don’t want to grow old and grey alone, do you?

So how exactly do you know that the person that you’re dating is the person you’re going to grow old with? Well, while there’s no sure-fire way to confirm this, there are a few signs that could very well mean that you and your significant other are meant to be.

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1.You can be your absolute weirdest self with them

There’s nothing more liberating than being in a relationship where you don’t have to wear a façade every time you meet. I mean, think about it, having to hide an annoying habit or two from your partner might seem like a minor hindrance in the short-term, but in the long haul it can end up driving you mad. So if you’re in a relationship where you can let your freak flag fly, and not be judged/criticized/vilified for it, you might be on to a good thing.

 2.You find your partner’s quirks endearing

Are there things about your partner that people find incredibly annoying that you can’t help but find adorable? The chances are that the two of you are in for a good run. There isn’t a person in this world that doesn’t have an annoying/irritating/downright bizarre quirk or two. Being with someone whose chinks and cracks you find endearing is an added bonus that not a lot of people get to enjoy.

3.You don’t have to make plans to enjoy time together

You know how I know when a couple is truly meant to be? They don’t have to plan “date nights” or “couples’ activities” to enjoy time together. So, if you’re in a relationship where spending time together feels like the most natural and pleasant thing in the world and you’re willing to rain-check on any other activity just to see your significant other for a few minutes, the two of you could very well be meant to be.

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4.You feel magic doing the simplest of things with them

Let’s be real, being in a long term relationship means that eventually the time that you spend doing simple, mundane things together is going to far exceed the time that you get to spend doing romantic, exciting things. But here’s the thing, if the two of you still feel excited and alive when doing things as simple as pigging out over Chinese takeout or washing a car together, you can be rest assured that your magic is meant to last.

5.You can sit in silence with them for hours

Spend long enough with anyone and you’re bound to come across moments where you have nothing to say to each other. For a lot of people this can get uncomfortable and feel like a huge red flag. But when you’re with someone you’re meant to be with, these silences can feel just as comfortable as a colorful conversation.

6.You find them as attractive as you did the first time you saw them

Do you remember that little tingle you felt in your stomach the first time you saw your significant other? That urgent rush of longing and desire you felt the first time you held them? The great thing about being in a relationship that’s meant to last is that this feeling only gets stronger over time. It doesn’t matter if you’ve been together for two years or twenty, when you’re with the person you’re meant to grow old with, you want them as badly each day as you did on the first.

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7.You’re not just partners, you’re best friends

Having great chemistry as a couple is an amazing thing. But to also enjoy amazing chemistry as best friends is an even more magical thing. Couples who grow old together are usually the ones who can hold hands and be romantic one moment, and start wrestling each other on the living room couch the next second.

8.You push each other to become the best versions of yourselves

One of the greatest things about being in a healthy long term relationship is that while you both accept each other for who you are, you aren’t shy about pushing your significant other to constantly improve themselves. You see, couples who never grow as individuals and human beings usually end up boring the hell out of each other until there’s no spark left in the relationship. So if you’re dating someone who isn’t afraid to call out your shit and give you the occasional kick in the butt when you need it, you can safely assume that they’ll be around for a long time.

9.You get over fights

Being in a healthy, loving relationship doesn’t mean that you’re never going to fight. In fact, being in a relationship where you don’t have a full-blown argument at least twice a year is just not normal. The difference between every other couple and couples who are in it for the long run is that the latter are able to move past their worst fights with no baggage in tow.

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10.You worry about them more than you worry for yourself

And last but not least, for you, they always come first. It doesn’t matter if it’s something as simple as who gets the last slice of pizza or a split second decision of whether you’re going to take a bullet for them, at the end of the day there isn’t a moment’s hesitation in your mind.

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Last Updated on January 15, 2021

7 Ways To Have More Confident Body Language

7 Ways To Have More Confident Body Language

The popular idiomatic saying that “actions speak louder than words” has been around for centuries, but even to this day, most people struggle with at least one area of nonverbal communication. Consequently, many of us aspire to have more confident body language but don’t have the knowledge and tools necessary to change what are largely unconscious behaviors.

Given that others’ perceptions of our competence and confidence are predominantly influenced by what we do with our faces and bodies, it’s important to develop greater self-awareness and consciously practice better posture, stance, eye contact, facial expressions, hand movements, and other aspects of body language.

Posture

First things first: how is your posture? Let’s start with a quick self-assessment of your body.

  • Are your shoulders slumped over or rolled back in an upright posture?
  • When you stand up, do you evenly distribute your weight or lean excessively to one side?
  • Does your natural stance place your feet relatively shoulder-width apart or are your feet and legs close together in a closed-off position?
  • When you sit, does your lower back protrude out in a slumped position or maintain a straight, spine-friendly posture in your seat?

All of these are important considerations to make when evaluating and improving your posture and stance, which will lead to more confident body language over time. If you routinely struggle with maintaining good posture, consider buying a posture trainer/corrector, consulting a chiropractor or physical therapist, stretching daily, and strengthening both your core and back muscles.

Facial Expressions

Are you prone to any of the following in personal or professional settings?

  • Bruxism (tight, clenched jaw or grinding teeth)
  • Frowning and/or furrowing brows
  • Avoiding direct eye contact and/or staring at the ground

If you answered “yes” to any of these, then let’s start by examining various ways in which you can project confident body language through your facial expressions.

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1. Understand How Others Perceive Your Facial Expressions

A December 2020 study by UC Berkeley and Google researchers utilized a deep neural network to analyze facial expressions in six million YouTube clips representing people from over 140 countries. The study found that, despite socio-cultural differences, people around the world tended to use about 70% of the same facial expressions in response to different emotional stimuli and situations.[1]

The study’s researchers also published a fascinating interactive map to demonstrate how their machine learning technology assessed various facial expressions and determined subtle differences in emotional responses.

This study highlights the social importance of facial expressions because whether or not we’re consciously aware of them—by gazing into a mirror or your screen on a video conferencing platform—how we present our faces to others can have tremendous impacts on their perceptions of us, our confidence, and our emotional states. This awareness is the essential first step towards

2. Relax Your Face

New research on bruxism and facial tension found the stresses and anxieties of Covid-19 lockdowns led to considerable increases in orofacial pain, jaw-clenching, and teeth grinding, particularly among women.[2]

The National Institute of Dental and Craniofacial Research estimates that more than 10 million Americans alone have temporomandibular joint dysfunction (TMJ syndrome), and facial tension can lead to other complications such as insomnia, wrinkles, dry skin, and dark, puffy bags under your eyes.[3])

To avoid these unpleasant outcomes, start practicing progressive muscle relaxation techniques and taking breaks more frequently throughout the day to moderate facial tension.[4] You should also try out some biofeedback techniques to enhance your awareness of involuntary bodily processes like facial tension and achieve more confident body language as a result.[5]

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3. Improve Your Eye Contact

Did you know there’s an entire subfield of kinesic communication research dedicated to eye movements and behaviors called oculesics?[6] It refers to various communication behaviors including direct eye contact, averting one’s gaze, pupil dilation/constriction, and even frequency of blinking. All of these qualities can shape how other people perceive you, which means that eye contact is yet another area of nonverbal body language that we should be more mindful of in social interactions.

The ideal type (direct/indirect) and duration of eye contact depends on a variety of factors, such as cultural setting, differences in power/authority/age between the parties involved, and communication context. Research has shown that differences in the effects of eye contact are particularly prominent when comparing East Asian and Western European/North American cultures.[7]

To improve your eye contact with others, strive to maintain consistent contact for at least 3 to 4 seconds at a time, consciously consider where you’re looking while listening to someone else, and practice eye contact as much as possible (as strange as this may seem in the beginning, it’s the best way to improve).

3. Smile More

There are many benefits to smiling and laughing, and when it comes to working on more confident body language, this is an area that should be fun, low-stakes, and relatively stress-free.

Smiling is associated with the “happiness chemical” dopamine and the mood-stabilizing hormone, serotonin. Many empirical studies have shown that smiling generally leads to positive outcomes for the person smiling, and further research has shown that smiling can influence listeners’ perceptions of our confidence and trustworthiness as well.

4. Hand Gestures

Similar to facial expressions and posture, what you do with your hands while speaking or listening in a conversation can significantly influence others’ perceptions of you in positive or negative ways.

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It’s undoubtedly challenging to consciously account for all of your nonverbal signals while simultaneously trying to stay engaged with the verbal part of the discussion, but putting in the effort to develop more bodily awareness now will make it much easier to unconsciously project more confident body language later on.

5. Enhance Your Handshake

In the article, “An Anthropology of the Handshake,” University of Copenhagen social anthropology professor Bjarke Oxlund assessed the future of handshaking in wake of the Covid-19 pandemic:[8]

“Handshakes not only vary in function and meaning but do so according to social context, situation and scale. . . a public discussion should ensue on the advantages and disadvantages of holding on to the tradition of shaking hands as the conventional gesture of greeting and leave-taking in a variety of circumstances.”

It’s too early to determine some of the ways in which Covid-19 has permanently changed our social norms and professional etiquette standards, but it’s reasonable to assume that handshaking may retain its importance in American society even after this pandemic. To practice more confident body language in the meantime, the video on the science of the perfect handshake below explains what you need to know.

6. Complement Your Verbals With Hand Gestures

As you know by now, confident communication involves so much more than simply smiling more or sounding like you know what you’re talking about. What you do with your hands can be particularly influential in how others perceive you, whether you’re fidgeting with an object, clenching your fists, hiding your hands in your pockets, or calmly gesturing to emphasize important points you’re discussing.

Social psychology researchers have found that “iconic gestures”—hand movements that appear to be meaningfully related to the speaker’s verbal content—can have profound impacts on listeners’ information retention. In other words, people are more likely to engage with you and remember more of what you said when you speak with complementary hand gestures instead of just your voice.[9]

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Further research on hand gestures has shown that even your choice of the left or right hand for gesturing can influence your ability to clearly convey information to listeners, which supports the notion that more confident body language is readily achievable through greater self-awareness and deliberate nonverbal actions.[10]

Final Takeaways

Developing better posture, enhancing your facial expressiveness, and practicing hand gestures can vastly improve your communication with other people. At first, it will be challenging to consciously practice nonverbal behaviors that many of us are accustomed to performing daily without thinking about them.

If you ever feel discouraged, however, remember that there’s no downside to consistently putting in just a little more time and effort to increase your bodily awareness. With the tips and strategies above, you’ll be well on your way to embracing more confident body language and amplifying others’ perceptions of you in no time.

More Tips on How to Develop a Confident Body Language

Featured photo credit: Maria Lupan via unsplash.com

Reference

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