How many times have you wondered if you should just settle?
You’re never going to find someone who’s got everything you want. And if you DO manage to find him, he won’t be interested in you anyway.
Dr. Duana Welch wasn’t finding this easy, either. She dated some pretty picture-perfect men, only to realize they bored her. Was it too much to expect that he be good-looking, successful AND interesting?
Instead of giving up, she tried a different tactic. She decided to use her research skills as an academic to find out what really were the deal-breakers in romantic relationships … and which qualities didn’t matter so much after all.
She reveals the results of that research—and her own happily-ever-after—with us in this week’s YBTV interview.
What You’ll Learn
Dr. Welch has been married over a decade now, but back when she was single, she felt like Goldilocks. She explains:
My standards were like a bad play on the Three Bears story; I didn’t know whether they were too low, unreasonably high, or just right.”
It may not have helped that Dr. Welch was also a die-hard Jane Austen fan, with visions of Mr. Darcy dancing in her head.
“One of the reasons I love [Pride and Prejudice] is it maps on to deep-rooted ancient human mating psychology,” she says. “Women will always want the tall, dark, handsome man who, while maybe he doesn’t love everybody, loves us; who would risk rejection and face down his demons for us specifically.”
Should we hold out for our own Mr. Darcy?
Dr. Welch looked for answers. She sifted through studies and the latest science on attraction. She discovered there were sound, evidence-based strategies women could use to attract the right mate, which eventually became her book Love Factually.
“My whole thing is figuring out what works for most people most of the time—based on science, not opinion—to put the odds in your favor,” she explains.
Her research clarified an important point:
External qualities matter less than internal qualities.
What he looks like, how much he makes, and what he does for a living is less important than whether he’s loyal, communicative, empathetic, and so forth.
“The externals bring people closer,” she says, “but if you don’t have the internals to back it up, you don’t usually succeed in keeping a good partner.”
So she doesn’t recommend that women make a deal-breaker out of qualities like height, income, or physical attractiveness. It’s okay for him to be good enough in those areas, as long as he excels in the areas that matter most.
“Standards you should never let go of: you need to feel like you’re in love with the guy, and he needs to show you … that he’s there for you and that he loves you. All the rest is something that you should be compromising on.”
Yet surely that requires us to give up our dream of the perfect man. Someone who’s “tall, dark, handsome, rich, well-connected, funny—everyone wants funny.”
A man like that may make you happy…
But he might not.
A wealthy, powerful man might cheat on you. He might pass you over for a woman twenty years younger.
Meanwhile, there’s a man who can love you like you’ve never been loved before, but you won’t look at him because he’s shorter or not as successful or less attractive.
“Here’s the wonderful thing about women,” Dr. Welch says. “If someone just treats us really well and we’re attracted to them, it’s hard for us not to love them.”
The physical attraction has to be there, but it’s okay if you don’t feel it immediately. Attraction often grows as you get to know one another.
Love changes how you look at people. For example, her husband is more handsome now than he was when they first met.
This is the man I love, and I’m not able to see him objectively anymore—nor should I be able to. Love makes people beautiful. I tie him in with every warm, loving feeling that I have, and I wouldn’t change how he looks.”
Find someone who’s a lot like you, who’s attracted to you as much as you’re attracted to him, and you have the foundation for a great relationship.
These days, Dr. Welch coaches clients who are seeking the love of a lifetime. “If someone is in any phase of relationship—from preparing for relationship to determining what the next step is to maybe having to exit a relationship—that’s who I work with.” Her clients are male and female, gay and straight, trans and cisgender. “It doesn’t matter to me. I want everyone to have love.”
She’s also written two books for singles. Love Factually: 10 Proven Steps from I Wish to I Do is “the first book that uses science instead of opinion to guide men and women to find the right partner.”
Her second book, Love Factually for Single Parents and Those Dating Them, is coming out January 7, 2019. It’s “a science-based advice book that is intended to help single parents or someone dating a single parent to determine how to get into the right relationship and how to keep that relationship.”
Get started on your own “right relationship” by visiting Dr. Welch’s website for a free chapter of either book.
Jump to Topics of Interest
1:48 Dr. Welch’s own search for love
4:15 The wisdom of Jane Austen
5:06 Don’t make height and looks a deal-breaker
6:38 Love makes us see our beloved as even more handsome as the years go by
8:29 The standards you should keep and those you should compromise on
9:25 If you have youth and beauty, you can hold out for the “perfect” man
10:07 The difficulty of landing that rich, handsome, successful man who’s also faithful to you
11:45 How do you know if you love him enough to marry him?
12:30 Why it’s so hard not to fall in love with someone you’re just sleeping with
12:59 How to know if he’s attracted to you
13:46 Arranged marriages
14:30 Love is necessary but not sufficient
15:25 Dr. Welch’s coaching practice
16:35 Dr. Welch’s books
18:02 The sentence that sums up all the science on intimate relationships
Dr. Welch is known for using social science to solve real-life relationship issues. She’s a professor whose work has been featured in Psychology Today, Time, Redbook, and the Huffington Post. She went on her own journey to find Mr Right, and the result was a happy marriage AND her first book, Love Factually: 10 Proven Steps from I Wish to I Do. Find out how you can work with Dr. Welch.