Psychological Self-Help

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instincts are fully in charge and discount the role of learned social
skills, consciously planned strategies, and various coping techniques in
establishing a love relationship. Yet, instincts are important (and to
some extent knowable and controllable). 
So, if we are attracted to another person and we want a
relationship and it seems wise, then we can just "let ourselves go" and
enjoy the fantastic thrill of "falling in love." However, there is one BIG
PROBLEM: love often starts before we know the person well. Even
when there are no initial "danger signals," we have no assurance that
we will only be attracted to personalities with whom we are
compatible. The person's body and manner may turn us on but parts
of his/her mind, habits, attitudes, or values, which we may not know
for weeks or months, could repulse us. Moreover, the lover may be (or
seem) charming for a while and then turn nasty. This lack of
predictability is scary. Lovers have no guarantees; you risk getting
hurt or, at least, wasting your time. But dwelling on and exaggerating
the possibilities of pain and problems in a relationship are deterrents
to love. The opposite is more common: feeling love and denying
potential problems. No one gets married expecting to divorce. We
need to understand both the reasons for our attraction to others and
our blindness to potential disasters. Selection of a life-long partner is
the hardest and most important decision we will ever make. It requires
careful, rational thought, as well as instincts and "chemistry." Let's see
if we can understand love better. 
Love is blynd.
-Chaucer, The Merchant's Tale
Meeting someone
To fall in love you have to see or meet someone attractive to you.
Someone has to be "available." Being single was a special problem
among young adults 50 years ago; the single person was "the odd
man out." Today there are four times as many singles, 1 in 5
Americans are single. It is no longer a stigma. But, in certain
situations, it is still hard to find a partner. You may be shy (Wassmer,
1990). Your life style may be such that you don't meet many potential
partners. You may need to change your social habits, e.g. go to
church, classes, clubs, political or volunteer activities, bars, etc. to
meet more or different people. Friends and family will offer
introductions if asked. Most newspapers have personal ads. Because
there are so many singles with specific interests, the modern
specialized dating clubs and services have mushroomed. For instance,
there are singles' clubs to serve various kinds of professionals, music
lovers, book lovers, vegetarians, overweight persons, divorced
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