While many of us follow our heart in search of ‘the one’, psychologist Ty Tashiro, PhD and author of the book “The Science of Happily Ever After”, advises us on how to use psychological science to find lasting love. Dr. Tashiro studies why some relationships are doomed, while others last a lifetime.
Over thinking the very emotional process of falling in love would kill the romance. However, it is advisable for people to use their head a bit more, especially as finding one’s life partner has a massive impact on the rest of our lives. When one is falling in love is not the best time to be making such an important decision, as the first rush of love will lead to irrational thoughts. In between relationships is the best time to reflect on what worked and what didn’t in past relationships, with some degree of clarity.
Dr. Tashiro recommends developing and prioritising one’s top three wishes for a future partner, based on a rational assessment of issues from these previous relationships. If people have a huge wish list of preferences, for example hot, tall, funny, stable, committed, athletic, generous, etc., studies have shown that they end up finding someone with none of those characteristics. Wishing for everything drastically narrows down the pool of potential partners. If one has a specific list of three very important characteristics, then you are much more likely to find a partner that really embodies those traits.
The most important parts of this process are as follows:
- The rational reflection on the positive and negative aspects of previous failed relationships.
- Forming three wishes for characteristics in a future partner based on that knowledge.
- Actively seeking those specific characteristics when looking for future partners.
Therefore, before you jump into the passion of a new relationship, take time out to reflect on previous ones to avoid falling into a cycle of heartbreak.
Click here to hear the full interview of Dr. Tashiro by Audrey Hamilton of the American Psychological Association.