Why do we feel attracted to some people and not others?
How to choose a life partner
How do people understand that the person they’ve met is the one they’ve been looking for?
Scientists from Beijing Normal University explained what’s really at work in choosing a romantic partner.
According to their point of view, our motivational orientation affects what kind of men or women we feel attracted to. In terms of motivational focus, all people are divided into 2 types.
- Forward-focused people are driven to achieve their goals. They are creative, optimistic and can easily step out of their comfort zone. Theyenjoy changes and fill their partner’s life with new experiences and push them forward.
- People belonging to the second team are prevention-focused. They loathe risk. These people work slower, check the information thoroughly, and avoid getting out of their comfort zone. They value stability and comfort. Such men or women are more likely to make their partner’s life secure and calm.
In simple words, the first type plays to win and the second not to lose.
Each type achieves their life’s challenges in their own ways and both are important. This classification is widely used in business, where one dreams new ideas and pushes the company forward while others make sure nothing goes wrong.
Love and compatibility
Apparently, this approach is applicable to romantic relationships as well. Most people tend to select a partner with the same goals and values.
When you meet a girl, she unconsciously identifies the motivational type you belong to, Psychology Today reports.
- If a woman needs security and home comfort, she’ll prefer a partner who’s able to provide that.
- If she needs a man who will change her life and constantly inject new ideas to achieve success, she’ll pick the man who is promotion-focused.
Basically, we choose people who can support us in achieving our desires.
To test the theory, researchers created a 2-part experiment.
- In the first part, the scholars determined the motivational orientation of participants. People were given a set of statements they could agree or disagree with. For example, “I often imagine how I achieve my goals” (promotion-focused type), “I often think about how I can avoid mistakes” (prevention-focused).
- In the second part, people were asked to evaluate 2 strangers. The first person strived to pursue opportunities and the second was loving and attentive to people. Participants were asked to answer if they liked the person or not, evaluate his competence and academic achievements, determine how it would feel in their company, etc.
The results showed that people tend to select partners with the same motives. It once again proves that opposites do not attract.
Of course, it’s not the only reason why we feel attracted. However, it is the thing the longevity and happiness of a relationship based on. It’s hard to be comfortable with someone when they seek experiences you loathe.
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