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How to Find Love That Really Lasts

How to Find Love That Really Lasts

Being single and struggling to find true love that lasts is still one of the biggest struggles so many people are facing today, no matter how successful they may be in other aspects of their lives. Although it may seem that you are lonely in your struggle, bear in mind that 44% of adult American population is single, 40 million of which are actively searching for love via online dating services.

The reasons for being single vary from person to person…

You may have been single for a while

It’s either because you didn’t have the time to dedicate to dating and truly getting to know someone, or you simply couldn’t find the partner that suits your needs. Either way, a certain amount of time has gone by, making it harder for you to get back in the game and start from scratch.

You may have gone through lots of heartbreaks in the past

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It is not uncommon that people who have been through some negative past experiences will feel uncertain and fearful once they are faced with similar situations.

No matter how hard it seems, or what our past experiences may be, for most people love is worth the search and the struggle. You are one of them since you are reading this article. You are the person with a clear goal in mind – you want the love that brings happiness, love that is true, honest and that lasts.

However, knowing what you want doesn’t always result in getting it. Anyone who has ever been single knows that finding the love you want can be quite challenging. The first question that comes to your mind is – How does one go about finding love actually? Then, you might ask if you were even supposed to be looking for love. Isn’t it one of those things that just happens or doesn’t, you might ask. Then, even if you meet someone, how do you really get to know a person? Or, you might have a problem identifying the right person for you. And, finally, how do you avoid making the same choices and mistakes?

How to find true love

At least from my experience, and from the experiences of people around me, love does not come when we look for it, nor when we pressure it into being. On the contrary, true love that lasts comes when you stop looking for it outside of yourself. Rather than looking for the love in the people we meet, and blaming them for not doing so, we need to shift the focus onto ourselves instead.

1. Work on yourself

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As the commonly known attraction principle states – we attract who we are. Therefore, if you are a person who is looking for others to provide them with the love they lack for themselves, chances are you are going to meet exactly those kind of people, who also look for someone to fulfill that gap for them. You know the rest of this story.

On the other hand, think of the people you know, I’m sure we all have at least one or two friends, or relatives, who simply find love whenever they want to. Great chances are that all of those people have one common denominator – they love themselves. To love yourself means to accept who you are, not care what anyone else thinks of you; to do what you love the most, and to be completely content with yourself.

Then, the message you are sending out tells of a person who is easily lovable and doesn’t feel needy of other people’s attention. And, that is exactly why love and attention are what they are most commonly getting.

2. Don’t rush

You can’t hurry love, indeed. If you are tired of waiting for the one, you can easily get into the trap of rushing into a relationship with the first person that seems nice enough without even taking the time to truly get to know the person. By rushing things we are more likely to sacrifice ourselves. This usually leaves a bitter taste in your mouth after you get some time to rationally think about everything.

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3. Reach out to meet new people

In order to break all negative or ineffective past programs, we have to step out into the world in a different way. Since chances of meeting the relationship material at a bar are 9% for women and 2% for men, why not trying some other activities where you can meet some interesting people, and maybe a future love interest.

If you have a dog, dog parks are a great place for both you and your furry friend to meet some like-minded people.

Another great way to meet new people is through everyone’s favorite topic – food. Depending on the type of food you like, you can find many great cooking classes, try pop-up dining, or any other type of food inspired gathering where you can meet and chat with people who share your taste.

With numerous dating websites and apps being developed recently, online dating has become mainstream in the last couple of years. Even though online dating has many pros and cons, you can benefit from it if you combine it with the real life experience wisely. Make sure to use the dating apps just as means for getting into contact with people and getting to know them a little before you meet them in the real world where you may consider dating.

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4. Don’t always trust the love at first sight

One of the common misconceptions about love that is meant to last is that there has to be an instant attraction between two people. In reality, physical attraction can be an important factor, yet it could also be completely misleading and short lived. This is why relationships between people who were friends first, are usually strong, healthy and lasting.

5. Don’t settle for an OK relationship

Ultimately, we can all feel what constitutes the right relationship for us, no matter how many disappointments it took to get us there. Therefore, we owe it to ourselves to not settle for anything less than that. Accepting an OK relationship out of fear of being alone robs us of our precious time we could spend focusing on ourselves and meeting the person who is just right for us.

This doesn’t mean that true and lasting love is perfect, there is no one with whom we are the absolute perfect match with, yet it takes less effort to work on a relationship once we meet someone we share the same goals with.

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Ana Erkic

Social Media Consultant, Online Marketing Strategist, Copywriter, CEO and Co-Founder of Growato

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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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