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Is it Lust or Love at First Sight?

A recent study at the University of Pennsylvania reveals that regardless of what people say they are looking for in a dating situation, they don’t need a lot of time with or information about a person to tell if they’re interested. Single people’s behavior suggests that individuals know “it” (a person who appeals to them) when they see it—almost instantly. Researchers studied data from 10,000+ daters. They found that men and women assessed potential compatibility within moments of meeting, using primarily visual cues such as age, height, and attractiveness.  Factors that you might think would be really important to people — like religion, education, and income — did not play much of a role in their decisions.

 

Another interesting study showed that opposites do not attract.  In fact people want partners who look like themselves or have similar characteristics.  If you feel like you’re attractive, or athletic or sexy—you tend to pick someone who matches you.

 

 In any case, when we do feel instantly that someone is a good fit we usually call this chemistry or infatuation.  There is a physical, visceral response when we meet someone and we are smitten.  This is definitely lust. But it may be exactly the opposite of love if you are looking for a lasting relationship.

 

 Having chemistry and acting quickly on it can lead to what I call a Flame-Out Deadly Dating Pattern.  In my book Love in 90 Days, I describe this pattern as what happens when the relationship is red hot, emotionally and sexually. You end up hanging out all hours talking with the person—- having a great time in bed and suddenly poof they disappear on you.  There’s just too much intimacy too fast with someone you don’t really know.   And that just creates so much fear and anxiety that it is bound to collapse.

 

This can be OK if you are just looking for a one night stand.  But if it lasts longer, you may deepen your attachment.  Having sex with someone releases Oxytocin, the bonding hormone and spending time with people you feel close to actually releases opioids.  These are the same painkillers found in opium and heroin. And that means when and if this person disappears on you, it can be very painful.   Not only emotionally but physically too.  You may feel chest pain or shortness of breath, like having a heart attack. Fatigued and like you can’t concentrate.

 

So the best dating advice I can give you is if you feel chemistry with someone, take it slow, so that you avoid a Flame Out.  Don’t spend too much time with them right off the bat or have sex with them too soon.  Get to know them first. And to help you on your journey to finding love I want you to take advantage of my free ongoing support. You can learn EXACTLY how to flirt, overcome shyness, find and attract the one, how to tell the DUDs from the STUDs, how to go from casual to a real commitment, how to keep the passion going and much much more by subscribing to my Dating Tips & Relationship Advice Newsletter, absolutely FREE!  Click Here to get started now.

 

Long term love often comes in surprise packages.  So date against your type and give people a chance even if you are not attracted to them right away.  This tends to lead to long term happiness.

 

Think of each person as a present wrapped in nested boxes.  As you interact with him or her, you are unwrapping the present and finding out more and more things that may be wonderful, may open up chemistry and connection!  Try thinking:  I have fun with this person.  I see the hidden possibilities in (name).  This man is a present for my enjoyment. More will be revealed about this person.  I uncover and enjoy the wonderful aspects of this man.  I find chemistry with this man.  You may be very surprised at what happens!

 

Diana Kirschner, Ph.D. is a frequent guest psychologist on The Today Show & author of the highly acclaimed new book, “Sealing the Deal: The Love Mentor’s Guide to Lasting Love” as well as the best-selling author of “Love in 90 Days.” Dr. Diana’s revolutionary work is the basis of her PBS Special on love. Connect with Dr. Diana through her FREE Dating and Relationship Advice Newsletter.

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