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If you spend time learning about your date’s inner ideal secrets, you are likely to end up in a happy relationship down the road. If we believe new research released by scientists at Northwestern University, Vrije Universiteit in Amsterdam, and the University of London, then the “Michelangelo effect”, a scenario in which partners try to “chisel, carve and polish away flaws in a partner to reveal the ideal form” is much more important than previously thought.
The finding may be exactly the opposite of what many single parents really believe is right to do. If we are divorced, there is often a rather selfish behavior prevalent in dating that stems from the pain of a previous relationships, our children are our focus and complex lifestyles can easily degrade a loving relationship to a refuge for stress relief. However, returning into a lasting, successful relationship from a simple dating scenario may be rather complex as well.
Researchers believe that partners need to have a desire and special talent to reveal inner secrets in a partner that otherwise would not be apparent and not be revealed by their partner. This effort is described as a sculpting process that unveils an ideal inner self. In fact, close partners tend to sculpt one another’s traits and skills and promote, versus inhibit, one another’s goal achievement.
“Just as the sculptor chisels, carves and polishes away flaws in the stone to reveal the ideal form, so do skillful partners support their loved ones’ dreams, aspirations and the traits they hope to develop, such as completing medical school or becoming more fluent in a second language or more sociable,” the researchers said.
Apparently, supporting a partner’s image of his ideal self, whether it is a vague yearning or a clearly articulated mental representation, helps the loved one reduce the discrepancy between the actual self and the ideal self.
In the same way, a relationship can run into trouble if ideals are misinterpreted and promoted: “Take Mary, a leading researcher and a beauty. If she prizes her scholarly accomplishments above her physical virtues, she will feel disaffirmed when her partner affectionately refers to her as his “Colorado cutie.” What that term of endearment represents could ultimately doom the relationship,” the scientists said.