1) Definitely stare deep in their eyes
Oliver Burkeman’s Help! How to be slightly happier and get a bit more done pointed me to evidence that staring into each other’s eyes really does increase attraction:
2) Still early in the relationship? Talk about travel, not movies.
3) Want to look more attractive?
How long does it take to determine if someone is hot? Thirteen milliseconds. Really: thirteen milliseconds.
So you don’t have a lot of time but there are some things you can do:
- Beauty sleep? Yeah, it’s real. Get some.
4) Forget dinner. Go somewhere exciting for Valentine’s Day.
The research points again and again to how important thrills are:
- What reignited passion in long term marriages? Doing exciting things together.
- Think a pleasant evening is all it takes? Researchers did a 10 week study comparing couples that engaged in “pleasant” activities vs “exciting” activities. Pleasant lost.
- Why would doing anything exciting have such a big effect on a relationship? Because we’re lousy about realizing where our feelings are coming from. Excitement from any source will be associated with the person you’re with, even if they’re not the cause of it.
The fun moments are more powerful than the bad moments: “…how you celebrate is more predictive of strong relations than how you fight.”
5) Go ahead and babytalk
Research shows it’s a good thing:
6) Best Valentine’s Day gift?
Studies show people like your gifts more when you stop being so creative and just get them what they want.
Dan Ariely, author of the excellent Predictably Irrational: The Hidden Forces That Shape Our Decisions, adds to that saying:
(Did you receive a lousy gift for Valentine’s Day? Here are pro tips on how to act like you’re not horribly disappointed.)
7) Ask the right questions
Arthur Aron studies what makes people connect quickly and deeply and has found it can be a matter of just asking the right questions.
Via Sam Gosling’s book, Snoop: What Your Stuff Says About You:
But how effective can this be really? In under an hour it can create a connection stronger than a lifelong relationship.
(You can read some of Aron’s questions used here.)
Is all this making you a little crazy?
That’s okay. Love could be classified as a mental illness:
This piece originally appeared on Barking Up the Wrong Tree.
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