Sometimes it feels like we're all trying to uncover some perfect secret formula that we think will help us find love.
We believe there's something wrong with us. We tell ourselves if we just lost this much weight, if we just liked this kind of music or if we just stopped behaving in this way, we'd find "The One."
We pick ourselves apart, treating all of our unconventional qualities like flaws that need to be changed. It's as if the formula lies within us, and we just have to hate ourselves a little bit in order to uncover it.
But we've been doing it wrong all along. There's no magic secret formula to finding our soulmate.
In fact, if there's any secret formula at all, it actually involves embracing those unconventional qualities we keep trying to hide.
Scientific American reports a recent uplifting study from Personality and Social Psychology Bulletin that shows that both men and women prefer to date nonconformist people -- people whose clothes, opinions and life decisions don't follow the "norm."
Before the study, it was predicteded that women would like weird men more than men would like weird women, but it turns out that's not true. Weird people are appealing across the board.
Matthew Hornsey, lead author of the study and social psychologist at the University of Queensland in Australia, told Scientific American:
The old-fashioned gender stereotype — that men go for conformist, submissive women — has been slow to die. I'm intrigued by the notion of the ‘girls' night out’ and how many women feel as though they can be more unguarded without men around — more relaxed, more crass, more honest, more funny. And I keep thinking, ‘Why are you keeping this good stuff to yourselves? Men would love it!’
So, the best way to find love really is to just be weird.
This makes sense. After all, weird people have way more to offer to the world than so-called "normal" people, who conform to conventional standards and don't know how to think for themselves.
Weird people know themselves very well.
Weird people have spent their whole lives actively going against the grain. Because of this, weird people have probably, at some point in their lives, experienced some kind of backlash for being who they are.
They've had to learn to fully accept their quirks and idiosyncrasies, since the rest of the world wasn't going to.
Through this process of acceptance, they've gotten to know themselves very well -- they know what they want and what they don't want in a partner, and they aren't willing to settle for anything less.
Weird people are unapologetically themselves.
Weird people are authentic.
They couldn't care less about trying to be cool or following trends, so they never hesitate to be their full unconventional, weird-ass selves.
This kind of authenticity is deeply attractive. Nobody wants to feel like the person he or she is dating isn't being honest. Weird people are honest by default. It's in their blood.
Weird people make other people comfortable.
Weird people are uninhibited in who they are, and they inspire other people to do the same, too.
They create a safe space for misfits and unconventional qualities, encouraging people around them to embrace their weird traits and be their true authentic selves.
Weird people are crazier in the bedroom.
If weird people aren't afraid to be unconventional in public, where everyone can watch them, they especially aren't afraid to be unconventional in bed, in a private, enclosed space with their partners.
If their partners want to try a new move, they're down. If they want to try a new move, they don't hesitate to suggest it.
They don't judge anybody who wants to challenge the norm in any situation -- including under the sheets.
Weird people have more fun.
Weird people don't let other people's judgments stop them from having fun. They aren't afraid to let loose and be unrestrained in their eccentricity -- two traits that allow for a guaranteed good time.
This makes weird people wonderful romantic partners. They'll be great at weddings, entertaining at family parties and just plain enjoyable in everyday life.
Weird people offer something different.
Any two people can have the same favorite movie or TV show in common as the foundation for a romance.
It's easy to find someone who also listens to The Weeknd, who has also been to California or who also loves music festivals.
But weird people offer qualities that aren't as easy to find. They're special. They provide an interesting perspective on life.
They challenge everything you've ever known to be true by enlightening you with their one-of-a-kind wisdom.