“I keep dating losers – why can’t I choose Mr. Right? When my girlfriend met her (now) husband she ‘just knew’ he was her soul mate.”
Do you wonder how other people choose Mr. or Mrs. Right? Ever think you’ve met him or her, only to find out he or she was Mr./Mrs. Wrong? This article will shed some light on how to find a healthy partner, fall in love and keep your sanity.
In the Beginning
Joan: “There he is. Isn’t he gorgeous? I’ve seen him here before; I just need the courage to say hello.” Alicia: “Go for it.”
We have all experienced it – that moment we see someone really attractive; butterflies in the stomach; heart pounding; extreme bliss.
The First Date
He’s coming to pick you up in 10 minutes; you’re not quite ready. Joan (thinking): “How does my hair look? I hope he likes me.”
On the Date
Joan (thinking): “I am so attracted to him. When he put his arm around my shoulders I almost melted. This is heaven. And we have so much in common.”
Back at Her House
Joan: “Would you like to come in for a drink?” “Sure,” he said.
Three drinks later, he kissed her neck. The high caused by adrenaline was simply amazing. Yup, they did it. Hook up with a capital H.
The Next Day
Joan: “I’ve never had sex on the first date, but I felt a real connection with you.” “Me too – it was a great night. I’ll call you.”
The Next Week
Joan to Alicia: “I can’t believe he hasn’t called me. What a jerk! It really seemed like we had a deep connection.”
The Trilogy in Attraction: Head, Heart, and Hormones
To choose a healthy partner, the three parts of attraction – Head, Heart, and Hormones – need to be in balance. Although the three parts of the Relationship Trilogy can’t be separated, let’s discuss them independently.
Head refers to the cognitive, logical, analytical part of us that observes and analyzes facts, ultimately creating hypotheses and drawing conclusions.
The heart is the emotional bridge between two people involving sharing, listening, and empathizing. It means being vulnerable and revealing deep secrets that create emotional intimacy.
Hormones indicate the neurochemical reactions that happen when we are attracted to someone. Physiological responses, such as the production of oxytocin, create a feeling of love (and sexual desire). We may even mistake our feelings for real love.
Joan swept away by Heart and Hormones, left her Head behind. With greater awareness of balancing the trilogy, Head, Heart, and Hormones, she might not have allowed her hormonal attraction to hijack her Head.
Hormones Leave the Gate First and Take the Lead
When meeting someone new, you instantly feel an attraction or not. Hormones are off and lead the pack. However, using Hormones to select a mate, instead of waiting until Head and Heart kick in, can be a disaster.
Heart Trails and Comes in a Close Second
Our hormonal honeymoon feelings lead us to idealize the person. “Looking through rose colored glasses” hinders us from objectively assessing whether this is someone with whom we truly want to become intimate.
Head Falls Way Back and Takes Third Place
With Hormones and Heart operating at full speed, the Head falls behind. We feel love and sexual desire even before we determine whether or not this person is healthy for us. We identify the powerful chemically induced feelings, as “being in love.”
A Saner Way to Find and Fall in Love
Finding lasting love takes time and an awareness of the Head, Heart and Hormones trilogy. When you consciously choose to lead with your Head you will likely make a wiser choice of mate.
So how can you do this?
No, it’s not “The List,” where women write down all the qualities they want in a mate. This may prematurely rule out a potential match.
A better way: After each encounter, use your Head and record everything you learned about your date. Observe the details and collect the facts. Don’t jump to conclusions; pay attention to what patterns develop over time. Make your own conclusions from what you’ve observed and seen if they fit.
Does he/she listen deeply with empathy? Does he/she talk mostly about himself/herself?
If he/she shows up late, did he/she apologize? Is he/she respectful in other ways?
Does he/she compliment you? Does he/she show caring by doing the little things?
Only after you collect enough data will you be able to come to a realistic picture of who this person is.
Walt Disney ended all of his movies with, “And they lived happily ever after …” We take this literally, but notice the ellipsis, the three dots at the end: This ellipsis means “we would like to hope.”
Remember, when you are looking for a partner, enjoy the Heart and Hormones, but always lead with your Head.
You can visit Disneyworld, but you can’t live there.