Erin Whitchurch, Tim Wilson and Dan Gilbert sought to test this possibility in a recent study published in the journal Psychological Science. They showed female college students the Facebook profiles of four men who they were told had previously looked at, and rated, their own profile. The women were then either told that these were pictures of men who liked them the most, men who rated them as average, or that they were either men who liked them most or rated them as average.
Previous research suggests that the women should be most attracted to those men who they know like them. Indeed, the results confirmed their hypothesis. The women liked these mystery men even more than the men who they knew liked them. Over the course of the 15 minute study the women reported thinking significantly more about them.
And when thoughts continuously pop into our heads people tend to construct explanations for why this occurs. So, the best strategy to pique the man or woman of your dreams might be to keep your feelings in the dark. The catch is that this strategy only works if your target actually likes you. Indeed, the more people tend to think about the possibility of uncertain negative outcomes what is the biopsy going to show? So think of playing hard to get as a kind of relationship litmus test.
If he likes you already, then being distant will only make his heart grow fonder. A few days of waffling back and forth and I ended up going out to a mediocre bistro with my parents. But my mom gave me pink-hearted socks, so not all was lost. And I ended up marrying the girl. Are you a scientist? Have you recently read a peer-reviewed paper that you want to write about? Then contact Mind Matters co-editor Gareth Cook, a Pulitzer prize -winning journalist at the Boston Globe, where he edits the Sunday Ideas section.
He can be reached at garethideas AT gmail. When you're in this uncomfortable situation, what do you do about it? Although it may seem intuitive to talk about this, I'd caution you to think before you act. Bringing something up this early can send a message to your potential mate that you're anxious about your attachment and might be a high-maintenance person who can't handle having space in a relationship.
Your plan B might be to comb through the person's social media profiles and check for signs of another person in their life. If any evidence is found, you then spend hours moping about the discovery. The downfall of both of these strategies is that they stem from an inability to deal with uncomfortable feelings. The uncertainty and ambiguity of not knowing where you stand are difficult to handle, and you might think you don't have the capacity to sit back and see what happens next.
So, here are five tips to help you tolerate discomfort rather than being ruled by it: Acknowledge that it sucks. Like most people, you may believe yourself to be better equipped to handle ambiguity in a relationship than you truly are. You may think of yourself as someone who is cool with just hanging out and doesn't need a relationship defined, but actually, you can easily fall into a tailspin when patterns of interaction change.
Knowing this about yourself is half the battle. Take care of your feelings. Embrace the not knowing, the lack of control. Think of it as something you want to make space for rather than push away. When you notice pangs of discomfort, observe where you feel them in your body as well as the uncomfortable emotions that you may experience and the challenging thoughts that arise in your mind.
Allow them to wax and wane. Then actively take note of the times when your discomfort decreases and invite your nervous system to register that. This practice of mindfulness will enhance your ability to manage any challenging situation.
A Scientific Dating Insight: Create Uncertainty
How To Get Over Uncertainty In Your Relationship Without Pulling Away
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