In 2017, finding a life partner — one who will stand by you through thick and thin, who shares your core beliefs and whose side-of-the-bed preference is complementary to your own — seems to be more about "love at first swipe" than "love at first sight." With the rise of apps and online dating services, there are more technologically advanced options than ever before for finding that special someone.
Love is increasingly a game of numbers in our data-driven world. According to a recent study by eHarmony Australia, over two-thirds of Aussie singles have a "suite" of people with whom they're romantically involved to some degree ("talking to," dating or just keeping on the back burner). In fact, the average single Aussie has 6.9 people they're currently involved with in some kind of romantic capacity.
These numbers may seem daunting. How is it possible to find ‘The One’ in this confusing dating landscape, where ‘ghosting’ is the norm and you're likely one of about seven people your latest love interest is texting?
But numbers can also be your comrade in the dating game.
The love enzyme: The Spark
The "spark" is an oft-used term for the high that accompanies a burgeoning relationship. But what, exactly, is it?
According to this TED-Ed video, all five of your senses play a role when it comes to physical attraction. Sight is the most obvious, though the perception of visual beauty can change dramatically once someone starts talking, calling it’s importance into question when stacked against what the other senses are deciphering as you assess a new acquaintance.
More and more, however, attraction is being defined by the way someone makes you feel, and that is driven by how two people spark off each other. It can be that undefined reason why you instinctively flirt with one person and not another. What a person says, their tone and body language contribute far more to that inexplicable feeling than physical beauty alone.
According to eHarmony’s study of over one thousand Australian singles, the three ingredients for ‘the spark’ include: Easy flow of conversation, how much the person makes you laugh and how quickly you feel at ease around them. And the spark is generally evident relatively early on: Fifty percent of Australian singles expect sparks to fly by the end of the first date, and only 12% believe it's something that can develop over time.
The love superfood: Compatibility
It is commonly said that opposites attract, but the data says otherwise. Those differences that initially excite us can eventually create tension and misunderstandings in relationships. Long term happiness seems to blossom when there is more similarity. Basically ‘opposites attract and then attack,’ so finding someone that is compatible is more important than you may have first thought. eHarmony has defined 29 dimensions that can help you find partners with whom you're truly compatible, through methods driven by hundreds of thousands of longitudinal studies of couples globally. From physicality to emotional energy, there are literally dozens of factors that come into play to turn those first tentative "nice to meet you"s into "I do"s.
There are six key segments: Emotional temperament, social style, cognitive mode, physicality, relationship skills, and values and beliefs. From there, it gets more granular. ‘Relationship skills,’ for example, delves into factors such as communication style (how a person verbalizes her or her thoughts and feelings), emotion management (how a person reacts to anger or fluctuations in mood) and conflict resolution (how a person treats confrontation).
We know, we know: ‘Data analysis’ doesn’t sound particularly sexy. But when it comes to finding the person you’ll spend the rest of your days with, isn’t it reassuring to have science on your side? If you're ready to find true compatibility instead of navigating a world of seemingly endless swiping, visit eHarmony today — and let the sparks fly.