Tag Archives: relationship tips

Are You More Interested In Someone Who Is Already Taken?

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Highly likely. 

A new study provides evidence for what many have long suspected: women are much keener on pursuing a man who’s already taken than a singleton.

Researchers from Oklahoma State University conducted this mate-poaching study by asking 184 heterosexual students at the university to participate in a study on sexual attraction and told the volunteers that a computer program would match them with an ideal partner. Half the participants were single and half were attached, with equal number of men and women in each group.

Unknown to the participants, everyone was offered a fictitious partner who had been tailored to match their interests exactly. The photograph of “Mr. Right” was the same for all women participants, as was that of the ideal women presented to the men. Half the participants were told their ideal mate was single, and the other half that he or she was already in a romantic relationship. Everything was the same across all participants, except whether their ideal mate was already attached or not.

The most striking result was in the responses of single women. Offered a single man, 59 per cent were interested in pursuing a relationship. But when he was attached, 90 per cent said they were up for the chase. Men were keenest on pursuing new mates, but weren’t bothered whether their target was already attached or not. Attached women showed least interest and were slightly more drawn to single men.

A Stamp of Approval

Burkley and Parker, the researchers of the study, speculate that single women may be more drawn to attached men because they’ve already been “pre-screened” by other women and found to be satisfactory as a mate, whereas single men are more of an unknown quantity. But what else motivates women to pursue “taken” partners? Apart from the explanation of “pre-screening”, another possibility, they say, is that in US society, women are socialized to be competitive, so they derive self-esteem by mate poaching from rival women.

Implications for Gay Couples

While this was conducted with heterosexual couplings, it’s not hard to extrapolate these findings to male-male or female-female couples as well since the concept of “pre-screening ” is not hetero-exclusive. And going by the conclusion the researchers offer, gay men should be even more likely to pursue these semi-unattainable mates because they are socialized, more so than women, to be competitive.  

Source: “Who’s chasing whom? The impact of gender and relationship status on mate poaching” Journal of Experimental Social Psychology, 2009.

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What does research say about how we “click” with someone?

soul-mates-squareYou just can’t put your finger on it, but you just… “click.”

The book Click: The Forces Behind How We Fully Engage with People, Work, and Everything We Do discusses a few of the most common causes of connection like proximity and similarity but their emphasis on vulnerability is quite striking.

Allowing yourself to be vulnerable helps the other person to trust you, precisely because you are putting yourself at emotional, psychological, or physical risk. In doing so, other people reciprocate by being more open and vulnerable themselves. When both of you let your guard down, it helps to lay the groundwork for a faster, closer personal connection. When you both make yourselves vulnerable from the outset and are candid in revealing who you are and how you think and feel, you create an environment that fosters the kind of openness that can lead to an instant connection — that click.

Vulnerability is also the element of clicking you have the most control over and can therefore use to improve how often and how deeply you connect with others.

There’s a hierarchy of vulnerability in the types of communication we have, each one being more open and more likely to lead to a solid connection:

  • Phatic: These statements have no emotional content: “What are you doing?”
  • Factual: These share information, maybe personal information, but no strong opinions or emotions are involved: “I live in Orange County.”
  • Evaluative: These statements show opinions, but they’re not core beliefs: “That cafe has amazing lattes.”
  • Gut-level: The first three are thought-oriented, while gut-level communication is emotionally based. It’s personal, and says something deeper about who you are: “I’m sad that you’re not here.”
  • Peak: Peak statements share your innermost feelings and convey the most emotionally vulnerability. These are “…feelings that are deeply revealing and carry the most risk in terms how the other person will respond,” : “I guess at heart I’m terrified I’m going to lose you.” 

To sum it up, we can engender magical connections simply by elevating the language we use from the phatic to the peak level.  

Bonus: Interestingly, one of the most popular TED talks of all time is Brené Brown’s presentation on vulnerability.

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How to Achieve the Perfect Kiss

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A kiss conveys passion, love, affection, friendship and total unabashed sexual energy. When timed properly, it is one of the most enjoyable things two people can do with their clothes on.

1. Plan the kiss: If you’re going on a date and you plan on kissing, you need to prepare accordingly. Avoid eating anything pungent that might overwhelm the kiss. If you smoke, try not to smoke during the date. You might be fine with a smoker’s breath but to others, kissing you might seem like they’re kissing an ashtray. If you must, at least carry a mint or gum. Some floss wouldn’t hurt either. In short, be kissable. 

2. Initiating the kiss: Timing the kiss is important. An abrupt kiss will make it seem like you’re desperate and thus, not romantic. Take your time to look into their eyes, smile and lean in closer.  Watch their body language. If they are not ready, they will display subtle cues like looking away, putting their hand in front of their mouth or neck, or crossing their arms to create some distance between you. If this happens, move back a bit and try again.

3. The first kiss: If you succeed and your lips lock, congratulations! But don’t celebrate just yet; you can still screw it up. Don’t hold the first kiss too long and please, no tongue on the first kiss. After the quick peck, see how he reacts. Does he smile? Is he blushing? When you kiss, there is a huge rush of oxytocin that’s released in the brain, which acts similarly to a hit of cocaine. Don’t pounce back on him immediately; let a few moments pass and make him crave your kiss. The ensuing kisses will be much more pleasurable.

4. The second and third kisses: This is when French kissing becomes more appropriate. After the initial kiss, move back a little and look him in the eye and give him another peck with a little bit more ferocity. If this one feels right for the both of you, build up the passion and excitement in the kiss till you are in the throes of wild and very passionate kissing!

5. Don’t forget to use your hands!  Kissing is nice, but it will be so much better if you use your hands. Gently cup his cheeks when you kiss. Or, gently caress his shoulders and lower back.

Finally, kisses should not be confined to just the lips. Every part of his body can be kissed in a way that will drive him into an orgasmic bliss.

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