Finding a partner with whom to share a life is a wonderful—yet sometimes difficult—process.
The desire to do so may push people into unfamiliar settings to encounter potential partners. Dating, or setting up meetings in advance, is a process by which people spend time with another person in order to gradually determine whether the person is suitable as a potential mate.
Determining whether a connection reflects temporary infatuation or true love can sometimes be challenging—and research suggests that there are revealing clues in behavior.
One possibly counterintuitive indicator is one’s sense of self. A good partner can push people to discover new activities or beliefs that expand their self-concept.
Another is stress: Repeatedly interacting with someone whose impression matters deeply can fuel anxiety.
Other indicators include being highly motivated to see the person and investing a significant amount of time, emotion, and energy into the budding relationship.
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