Sex & Relationships

Why immediate attraction isn't an indicator of lasting love

Next time your knees go weak for a potential suitor, take a pause. Therapist Ken Page shares tips on how to develop attraction that leads to long-term love.

engagement Ring, couple hugging before marriage

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Edgy bad boys populate popular movies and romance novels, making these fantastic escapes more interesting and exciting, if a tad sillier. Clearly, it’s fun to fantasize about a tall, dark and temperamental vampire with the soul of a poet and the jawline of a Greek god.

But in life, bad boys don’t recite Wordsworth — frankly, most don’t even possess that immaculate jawline. In reality they’re just standard, off-the-rack creeps and jerks. And if happiness, commitment and lasting love are your ultimate goals, they’re to be avoided — kind of like vampires.

That’s not always easy though.

One expert is attempting to offer a public service to those that just can’t seem to shake their attraction to damaged goods. In an article for Psychology Today, therapist Ken Page offers tips on how to develop an attraction to good people.

It starts with losing the extremes when it comes to attraction and dating. Don’t aim high or low, but seek middle ground when it comes to potential partners, he advises.

“People who are willing to date in the mid-range are more likely to find real and lasting love,” says Page.

That means don’t go after Mr. Perfect or Mr. Right Now, but rather scan the crowd and look for someone that appears to be nice, interesting and a genial companion. You won’t get a lightning bolt when you spot this person and that may be a good thing.

Says Page: “Immediate attraction isn’t the best forecaster of future passion. Intense attractions blind us to the actual quality of our interaction with others, and to the actual characters of the people we date. Attractions can grow.”

Another tip: Don’t bail on a suitor because the spark isn’t immediate, or because you can’t handle the fact that he wears his pants too short. If you admire that person for some standout qualities, then keep dating and allow feelings to develop.

“In time, something lovely may happen: He or she may actually become more beautiful to you.”

If they don’t, Page says move on. Or take him to your tailor for an emergency hemming.

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