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Ten Things You Can Do To Feel More Attracted to Your Partner

Ten Things You Can Do To Feel More Attracted to Your Partner

Relationships invariably go through ups and downs. That’s perfectly normal but how do you deal with a phase of feeling less attracted to your partner?  Most relationships go through a “honeymoon” phase where everything is great and we are physically attracted to our partners but after approximately eighteen months, this phase tends to lessen. Making a decision based only on appearance is short sighted as many factors are involved in the longevity of a relationship. There are ways however, to feel more attracted to your partner again:

1. Redefine Attraction

How do you evaluate your partner’s attractiveness? Look at yourself in this process too. Attraction is more than just skin deep – there is companionship, emotional and intellectual compatibility. In order to feel more attracted to your partner, look at them as a whole and consider all the positive factors that contribute to the quality of your relationship.

2. Recognize Your Fears and Face Them

When you’re in the thicket of anxiety, it’s almost impossible to feel positive feelings towards your partner. Sorting out your own internal balance is required before the relationship can be resumed as before. Deal with your own stress levels and find strategies to maintain balance in your life. This allows positive feelings to flow back into the relationship and help you to reconnect with your partner. If your job is causing you stress, deal with the source rather than transferring the stress onto your relationship. This is the easiest option but it will most definitely cause long term damage to your relationship.

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3. Love Yourself

When we don’t like ourselves, we tend to project what we don’t like about ourselves onto our partners. The more we accept ourselves, the more tolerant we are of others around us. If there’s something that you don’t like about yourself, take responsibility and focus on improving yourself. Self development is vital, it gives us meaning and encourages greater contentment within ourselves and with others. Self love encourages positive regard and can promote an environment where we feel more attracted to our partners.

4. Remind Yourself Why You Fell in Love in the First Place

What attracted you to your partner in the first instance? Was it their kindness? Did they make you laugh? As time goes by, we can become complacent and focus on the irritations and negatives rather than what we enjoy and appreciate about our partners. Monotony invariably sets in and we are all subject to the routines of life like paying bills and housework. Make a conscious effort to focus on what you love about your partner and you’ll feel more attracted.

5. Improve the Mental and Emotional Connection

Communicate to feel more attracted! When we are emotionally and mentally connected, the physical connection is so much better. We all need an ally in life and feeling close and connected to someone is one of the free gifts that life gives us. Ensure you spend quality time together and talk about the important stuff, not just about the chores and what’s on the television. Get to know each other and stay connected. Do this on a regular basis and you increase the chances of maintaining attraction.

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6. Check For Any Underlying Health Concerns

Some health issues can affect libido. Anxiety and exhaustion can cause a lack of libido. Drugs and alcohol, hormonal issues, depression and getting older can all affect our sex drive. If lack of libido has been an issue for over three months, go see your GP to check whether there is a health issue that needs to be addressed.

7. Practice Gratitude – Cognitive Behavioral Modification

Remind yourself regularly of all the things you appreciate about your partner. Get into the habit of regularly telling your partner of the things they have done that you appreciate. Some of my clients leave each other post-it notes two or three times a week, telling their partner of three things they appreciate. It could be something as simple as making each other a cup of tea/coffee or it could be appreciation over thoughtfulness or patience. Feeling important and validated by your partner definitely leads us to feel more attracted.

8. Do Some Thrill Seeking Together

In a classic experiment conducted by Arthur Aron, researchers gave couples a list of activities that were “pleasant” (such as cooking, going to the cinema or going out with friends) or “exciting” (skiing, ice skating, bungi jumping or attending concerts) but that they had enjoyed only infrequently. Each couple was instructed to select one of these activities each week and spend 90 minutes doing it together. At the end of ten weeks, the couples who engaged in the “exciting” activities reported greater satisfaction in their relationship than those who engaged in “pleasant” or enjoyable activities together.

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Surprise and excitement are potent forces. When something novel occurs, we tend to pay attention, to appreciate the experience or circumstance, and to remember it. We are less likely to take our partners for granted when the relationship continues to deliver strong positive emotional reactions. Uncertainty sometimes enhances the pleasure of positive events and enables us to feel more attracted to our partners. For example, a series of studies conducted by researchers at the University of Virginia and at Harvard showed that people experienced longer bursts of happiness when they were at the receiving end of an unexpected act of kindness and remained uncertain about where and why it had originated. So, go ice skating, do something different and step out of your comfort zone together to reintroduce passion and connection.

9. Learn Each Other’s “Love Languages”

According to Gary Chapman, there are five languages of love. These are: quality time, acts of service, gifts, words of affirmation and physical touch. We all have preferences in the way we feel loved. For some of us, it is compliments (words of affirmation) and for others, it may be that spending quality time with their partner makes them feel loved. All five languages of love matter though and injecting these five elements into your relationship will promote closeness and help you to feel more attracted to each other.

10. Be Independent – Don’t Expect to Get All Your Needs Met by Your Partner

When we expect our partner to meet all our needs, we can end up feeling resentful when our partners are unable to meet our needs and expectations. It is unrealistic to expect your partner to be able to meet all your needs. Instead, be realistic – have a good group of friends and interests outside the relationship.

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Attraction and feeling connected in a relationship is something that needs to happen on an ongoing basis or else other things will ‘crowd’ it out and take its place. Behave your way to success. Like the old adage: Use it or lose it. Eschew predictability in favor of discovery, novelty and opportunities for unpredictable pleasure and feel more attracted in the long term.

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Mandy Kloppers

Mandy is a Psychologist/CBT therapist who believes getting through life is easier with a robust sense of humour.

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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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