When you’re looking for someone to go out with, you probably want to find someone who shares your interests. While that’s ok, you may want to focus on a more important, less-known factor: meta-emotions.
As tips site Barking Up the Wrong Tree explains, meta-emotions describe how we feel about feelings. For example, what do you think you should do when you get angry? Should you talk it out, or is having a screaming match healthy? How we interpret and handle our own emotions can say a lot about how we deal with relationships. As the author of A Book About Love explains it:
John Gottman at the University of Washington has amassed a persuasive body of evidence that meta-emotions are the real signal variable in terms of predicting whether or not a marriage will last. Do you believe you should express anger? Or do you believe in holding it in and waiting for it to fizzle out? Do you think happiness should be shared but anger should be suppressed? Sharing your meta-emotional style gives you a common emotional template, a common language.
Of course, most online dating sites don’t exactly have a box for “meta-emotions” but you can see them in action when you date someone. You might watch for red flags that indicate they don’t manage their emotions in a way that complement how you handle them. Watching for those signals will probably tell you a lot more about how the relationship will go than whether they like the same bands or movies that you do.
How To Make A Relationship Last: 5 Secrets Backed By Research [Barking Up the Wrong Tree]
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