In this article, I will reveal to you the secret strategy for finding true and long-lasting love.
You give me a couple minutes of your attention, and I will illuminate your past romantic mishaps in such a soft glow, they will come to look like a mere comic preamble, which has been preparing you for true love.
Sounds like a good deal, right? Well, there will be a downside, but we don’t need to focus on it just yet.
The widely-acclaimed book, "Thinking, Fast and Slow," by Nobel Laureate Daniel Kahneman makes the case for understanding our minds as storytelling machines.
We humans adore jumping to conclusions, no matter how sparse the data might be.
Coherency is the aspect we prize highest in the stories we create. If a story is coherent enough that it suspends our disbelief, we happily go along with it as pretty much fact. And it can be incredibly difficult to change our minds after accepting the fact.
Of course, the stories we are all most interested in is the coherent story we tell about our own personal selves. For the most part, we try to find a personal story, which allows us to each feel content with our lives.
But what makes up that contentment? Perhaps, it is the pursuit of happiness? Or maybe it is more about meaningfulness?
A study published in the Journal of Positive Psychology attempted to disentangle the concepts of happiness and meaningfulness, and concluded when a person is happy, he or she is concentrating on the moment he or she is in; yet, when a person feels meaningfulness, he or she has achieved a connection between past, present and future.
The most coherent stories contain a strong thread through time. If we are storytelling machines, it could be argued that for you to feel your life is meaningful, your own personal story must thread your past to your present in a way you are okay with, and present a path to a future you desire.
There will be moments of happiness and sadness within the story, but its meaningfulness is paramount.
So, how does all of this relate to a secret strategy for finding true and long-lasting love? Well, it suggests we should all engage in meaningful dating rather than happiness dating.
How many times have you judged a date based on the in-the-moment feel of it?
There are a lot of people you can go on dates with who will give you a happiness buzz, but that can be temporary. Instead, you need to create a story from your dating past to now, which you see wisdom in and use to move into a dating future where you end up finding love.
We have all trial-and-errored our way romantically to today, and that is okay. In fact, it is pretty much a scientific way of doing things.
All the dates or flings which were fun at the time, but in retrospect, serve as red lines of what you don’t want, have set the meaningful context for knowing what you do want and for recognizing it when you see it.
View any future connection with a currently unmet soul mate to be something you earned. All the failed relationships, the fizzles, the burnouts, the you-only-kind-of liked-them-anyways were just moments in the timeline leading to significant love.
That will totally work, once you overcome the downside I mentioned earlier…
Unfortunately, Kahneman is a pessimist in regard to our ability to correct faulty decision-making habits. He reasons such change is too hard and we are overconfident to believe otherwise.
I guess that is the challenge everyone faces to find significant love: overconfidence.
But, hopefully, you can spin this downside into your personal story in a coherent enough way that it leaves room for the meaningful future and love you desire.
I mean, what is the alternative, but doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results? That, of course, is the definition of insanity, according to Einstein.
Let’s back Einstein over Kahneman on this particular fact; our futures depend on it.