Look for Matching Meta-Emotions When Trying to Find a Romantic Partner

When you’re looking for someone to date with, you probably want to find someone who shares your interests. While that’s okay, you can focus on a more important, lesser-known factor: meta-emotions.

As the advice site Barking Up the Wrong Tree explains, meta-emotions describe how we relate to feelings. For example, what do you think you should do when you are angry? Is it worth talking about this, or is it useful to arrange a screaming duel? How we interpret and deal with our own emotions can say a lot about how we deal with relationships. As the author of the book on love explains:

John Gottman of the University of Washington has amassed strong evidence that meta-emotion is a real signaling variable in terms of predicting whether a marriage will last or not. Do you think you should express your anger? Or do you believe that you have to hold it and wait until it fizzles out? Do you think you should share your happiness and suppress anger? Sharing your meta-emotional style gives you a common emotional template, a common language.

Of course, most dating sites don’t have “meta-emotions”, but you can see them in action when you date someone. You may want to watch out for red flags that indicate they are not manipulating your emotions in a way that complements the way you deal with them. Watching these signals will likely tell you a lot more about how the relationship is going to develop than whether they enjoy the same bands or movies as you do.

How to Make Your Relationship Lasting: 5 Secrets Backed by Research | Bark on the wrong tree


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