Picking your forever person is a huge decision and many of us feel like our pickers are broken.
We don’t trust ourselves to choose well, because we haven’t in the past.
How do you know they’re the one?
The internet has a lot of advice, but not all of it is good!
8 Online Tips to Ignore When Finding “The One”
“Seeing them makes everything better”
That’s a big claim. They make everything better? On sight?
You might feel comforted if you're having a terrible day and your partner gives you a hug, but it doesn’t magically make everything better.
You'll still have days you feel sad and worried.
Seeing your partner won’t cure you of all your problems.
“You argue seldom but passionately”
What does arguing with passion even mean? Throwing the dinner plates? Yelling in each other’s faces?
If your fights escalate like that, they’re probably not the person you want to stay with.
Great couples settle their disagreements calmly and with empathy.
Passionate fighting isn’t a sign of true love.
“You love getting random texts from them.”
This could apply to almost any new relationship. Who doesn’t like getting texts from someone you’re interested in?
It can apply to any good friendship for that matter.
We love getting random texts from friends and family.
Enjoying a text doesn’t mean you’re destined to be long term lovers.
“You’ve overcome obstacles and adversity together”
It’s important to support each other through hard times, but it’s not always a good thing at the start of a relationship.
Could it be one of you is rescuing the other? Acting as a White Knight and swooping in to save the day?
Real-life white knights are men and women who enter into romantic relationships with damaged and vulnerable partners, hoping that love will transform their partner’s behavior or lives — Mary C. Lamia, Ph.D.
Friends, family, and your therapist also help you overcome obstacles.
Overcoming hardship is not a solid basis for a relationship.
“A psychic/guru/mentor confirmed it”
Who you partner up with is a decision you’ll be living with, not your mentor.
If someone you trust says you’re destined to be together, you risk ignoring your own feelings about the relationship.
Trust your own judgement, not someone else's.
“He protects you”
This advice is worrying.
There are some guys who promise to protect women, then a few months or years later, those same guys end up being the ones they need protection from.
Big, tough guys can make us feel safe, but it’s shallow. It doesn’t say anything about their character.
“The chemistry is intense”
It’s important to have good chemistry with your partner, but intense chemistry isn’t always a positive sign.
Couples in trauma bonds also have intense chemistry.
Trauma-bonding is a hormonal attachment created by repeated abuse, sprinkled with being “saved” every now and then. — Ingrid Clayton, Ph.D.
With trauma bonds, the relationship is abusive, but the attraction is powerful.
Chemistry is just one part of the puzzle, not the whole picture.
“You’re addicted to each other”
It’s worth understanding the stages in a relationship to see why this advice is bad.
Helen Fisher, a researcher of love and relationships, explains that feeling addicted to someone happens in the early lust/ attraction phases. You just can’t stop thinking about them!
It’s impossible to really tell if someone is the one until the early lusty phases die down. Many relationships feel incredible at the start only to fizzle out by the fourth month.
The third stage of love, when deeper feelings and attachment kicks in, is actually very calm and comforting, rather than obsessive.
It’s not all bad advice online
There’s plenty of incredible advice on love from some online sources.
The Gottman Institute for one. Many smart people have studied relationships and there’s a lot for us to learn.
You just need to be careful about who you listen to.
Love advice can be plain bad. Make sure you check who’s dishing it out before you follow it.