This year make your own destiny to find love: Deakin relationships expert

Media release
16 January 2018

For those longing for love, the dawn of a new year often brings with it  hope that 2018 may be the one in which  they find their soulmate, but a Deakin relationship expert is urging singles not to hold onto ideas of romantic destiny.

Associate Professor Gery Karantzas, Director of the Science of Adult Relationships Laboratory in Deakin's School of Psychology, said assuming destiny would simply bring someone's match to them could mean they actually missed out on finding that special someone.

"The science of relationships tells us that tightly holding onto beliefs of romantic destiny and soulmates can be problematic, both in finding love and as well as maintaining it," he said.

"The more tightly one adheres to a particular image regarding their romantic destiny, the more they risk missing out on making meaningful connections with potential mates who may actually be a very good, yet unexpected, match.

"And when you get into a relationship, this belief can limit how hard people work on relationships, especially when obstacles or challenges emerge.

"People with this 'destiny' attitude often believe that either, A, everything will work out in the long run, or B, their partner and their relationship will not change or evolve with time."

Associate Professor Karantzas said this was not often the case.

In contrast, he said people who believed their relationship required effort, and was something important to put work into, fared much better when they experienced challenges.

"This is because they hold a mindset that issues and problems need to be dealt with, and that relationships and partners have the ability to grow and change over time. Holding these beliefs is referred to as a 'growth' mindset.

"Some people who refer to their partner as their soulmate can actually have this growth mindset too, when you unpack their core beliefs.

"What really matters is that you don't see your partner or relationship as this fixed entity that cannot change over time. All relationships can change for the better with work and nurturing."

So as we head into 2018, Associate Professor Karantzas said romantics shouldn't await their destiny when it came to love.

"Whether you're looking for love or wanting to enhance your relationship, instead work on having a growth mindset and make your own destiny."

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Media release Faculty of Health, School of Psychology

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