Dating advice

Some of this advice can be quite helpful, but much of it is mistaken and based on personal experiences and opinions, rather than actual research about relationships. Below, I take on five common pieces of dating advice that are misguided or flat-out wrong.

It was only later on that the researchers saw differences between relationships that lasted and relationships that eventually fizzled. But what about love at first sight? Research shows that many people believe they have experienced it. And many people who report "love at first sight" with their current partner are just projecting their current feelings onto their initial encounters with that person.

Many relationship advice books tell women that they should play hard to get if they hope to attract a man. She should ignore his phone calls and pretend to be busy when he asks for a date. Research does suggest that we are most attracted to people who are selective in who they choose to date. In fact, research on reciprocity shows that we like people who like us. Some dating advice suggests that the courtship experience should be approached as a game with the end goal of snagging a partner: Carefully monitor your behavior and the impression that you create in order to win the prize of a committed relationship.

For example, the authors of The Rules advise women to hide some personal information from a boyfriend for the first few months, until they are sure he is madly in love with them, in case any of these personal revelations could turn him off and cause him to leave. But waiting months to share personal information with a romantic partner is a recipe for a shallow relationship, and mutual sharing of personal information is one of the key building blocks of intimacy.

Someone who falls in love with you in the absence of emotional intimacy is probably not someone you want to form a lasting relationship with. In fact, a relationship free of emotional intimacy is what people with avoidant attachment styles desire9 that is, an intimacy-free courtship will appeal to an intimacy-avoidant person.

Opposites attract, so try to find someone really different than you. People often claim that opposites attract. However, it is much more often the case that birds of a feather flock together.

They also tend to have fewer conflicts, making for smoother relationships. However, research on "fatal attractions" suggests that these sorts of opposite qualities may initially attract us, but ultimately end up being sources of friction. Online daters do sometimes lie about their age and physical appearance.

However, research shows that extreme lies are rare because people who are looking to develop relationships with those they meet online realize that such lies will eventually be revealed, and when they are, it would likely spell the end of the relationship.

References 1 Eastwick, P. What do short-term and long-term relationships look like? Journal of Experimental Psychology: General, 5 , What kind of love is love at first sight? Personal Relatoinships, 24 4 , Understanding an elusive phenomenon. Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, 26, Reciprocity of interpersonal attraction: Social Psychology Quarterly, 45 1 , A two-dimensional model for the study of interpersonal attraction.

Personality and Social Psychology Review, 18, Initial impressions of others. Intimacy as an interpersonal process: The importance of self-disclosure, partner disclosure, and perceived partner responsiveness in interpersonal exchanges. Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, 74, Journal of Social and Personal Relationships, 7, Similarity of outcomes, interdependence, and conflict in dating relationships.

Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, 59, The psychological infrastructure of courtship and marriage: The role of personality and compatibility in romantic relationships. From appealing to appalling: Disenchantment with a romantic partner.

Sociological Perspectives, 44, Separating fact from fiction: An examination of deceptive self-presentation in online dating profiles. Personality and Social Psychology Bulletin, 34 8 , Marital satisfaction and break-ups differ across on-line and off-line meeting venues.


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