Dr. Foster’s 4 Secrets for Perfect Matches: The Psychology Behind Are You the One?

Are You the One? is trending on Netflix. It’s been fun to walk down memory lane and see how well-matched psychological and behavioral foundations truly lead to lasting connections. 

Therefore, it seems an appropriate time to finally share some of my secret sauce to matchmaking and what makes love last.

Secret #1: I created a psychological formula to match the couples. 

While I can’t share all my secrets, I can share that part of my formula includes using sound Applied Behavioral Analysis! When MTV asked me to apply my relationship expertise to the cast of Are You the One?, my role was to match couples by determining the strength of compatibility. I created a formula based on Applied Behavioral Analysis and used a standardized survey assessment to profile each individual. I used the data from the survey results combined with a psychological assessment of family of origin history, dating history, and life experience to assess patterns of behavior and if there was a correlation between the two assessments and past failed relationships. 

Secret #2: Timing and logistics matter even with high degrees of compatibility.

Not all the perfect matches I made on Are You the One? turned into good relationships. Truth is, I’m not surprised. In this situation, several factors have to be looked at, particularly, environment.  It’s difficult to predict whether or not a relationship can weather the intensity of this type of experience.  When back at home and faced with reality, the environment changed, additionally, many of these couples had logistical difficulties.  That’s not to say that these couples didn’t have the foundation to make the relationship work based on the data showing high degrees of compatibility.  In this situation timing and location is everything. 

We’re also looking at patterns of behavior. Everyone was on the show because they were making the same choices over and over and it wasn’t working for them.  It’s easy to make a different choice when taken out of the context of your familiar environment. 

Secret #3: The heart and the mind don’t always align.

Some couples on Are You the One? learned that it’s best to go with their gut.  Others learned that gut decisions don’t necessarily work.  Finding one foolproof method to find a perfect match has multiple factors to consider such as chemistry and behavioral patterns.

As we’ve seen sometimes in life the heart wants what the heart wants.  Thoughts and feelings are not always rational when chemistry and attraction are on board.  One can take every personality and behavioral test out there. It may increase their awareness about how their family dynamics or history plays into a choice. 

Ultimately it’s very difficult to rationally make decisions when chemical reactions in the brain are very powerful. The heart and the head don’t always match up.

Secret #4: Sometimes the lessons we learn in failed relationships help us in our future relationships.

My hope for the singles on Are You the One? was to gain some insight about themselves in relation to why they tend to choose certain types of people for a partner versus another.  My goal for them was to challenge themselves to increase their self-awareness.  That meant they would reflect on how relationships work, understand their emotional needs in a relationship, and gain insight into how to meet their partner’s emotional needs in a relationship, thereby creating longevity. A relationship truly works when couples are not only behaviorally compatible but also create deep friendship by learning how to effectively navigate their differences, communicate their wants and needs and form lasting bonds through shared experiences. These are the building blocks to creating a sound foundation for an enduring relationship. 

Dr. Foster practices psychotherapy for individuals, couples and families. Implementing cognitive behavioral and psychoanalytic interpretation and interventions, Dr. Foster offers assessment and diagnosis of disorders and delivers a holistic approach to the doctor/patient experience.Utilizing the evidenced based relationship building techniques validated by the Gottman Institute research, Dr. Foster helps patients build new communication patterns and understanding. For more information, http://drerinfoster.com/

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