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Dating Someone Just Like You

Photo by Caroline Veronez on Unsplash In the fall of , at the marriage-appropriate age of 28, I married a woman who I had been with for over 3 years. Six months later, we were separated. A year after that, divorced. Before my marriage, I had no idea who I was, what I wanted, and knew virtually nothing about love and lasting relationships. My dating life looking back felt a bit like playing in a sandbox in the middle of the desert. My opinion? Absolutely not.

Though having lots of things in common makes the relationship better, you only NEED to have these 6 commonalities: You both need to be committed to the relationship. Challenges will inevitably present themselves that will test your commitment to one another — arguments, ex-lovers, enticing and potential future lovers, among other temptations. The slightest lack of commitment? Mistakes were made especially if alcohol is involved. But never doubt your commitment.

You both need to be extremely honest. To other people, to each other, but most importantly, to yourselves. Be honest about who you are and what you want, and be consistent. Honesty is especially important in your commitment to each other.

Better to be honest to yourself and to your partner and move on to find someone else or a different situation that you can fully commit to. You both need to trust one another. Romantic love requires complementarity—that is, differences. We may think we want partners like ourselves, but we wind up pursuing relationships with people who are different from us.

Read: Stop waiting for your soul mate The attractive force of difference may have biological roots. Scientists have long known, for example, that children inherit a wider variety of immune defenses when their parents differ greatly in a group of genes called the major histocompatibility complex MHC. The women preferred the smelly shirts worn by the men whose MHC genes were most different from their own.

Later research on different populations found the same result. Algorithms allow people to find dates like themselves with brutal efficiency. Now that you know what to look for in a mate, you need to change your dating process to find it. Maybe, on most of your first dates, you ask lots of questions in an attempt to find views and interests you share with your suitor.

Instead, you should be looking for differences that will balance the two of you out. Here are three ways to get started: 1. Embrace diversity. Workplaces love to tout the benefits of diversity, and rightly so. If you agree, then embrace more diversity in your personal life too.

Look for people who think differently from you and be open to loving them as friends—and maybe more. Not only does this expand your dating pool; it also makes life more fun.

Read: The kind of love that makes people happiest 2. Focus on personality. Exit the pool of people who say they would never date someone who disagrees with them politically. The peace forged by dating only your ideological twin is a Faustian bargain, because you may well be sacrificing complementarity and attraction. Try this: Make a deal with someone you plan to go out with that you will not discuss politics at all for at least the first three dates if you get that far.

This way, you will neither assume a match based on this weak criterion, nor rule someone out too early. Let humans make your matches. One of the most robust trends in meeting potential mates over the past three decades has been the move away from dates set up by friends. The less exclusively you rely on an internet-dating profile, the freer you can be from philosophical prejudices, and the more you might rely on more primitive mechanisms—like your nose.

Read: Love in the time of individualism This strategy only works, of course, when your friends know eligible matches with whom to set you up.