Know Yourself Reach Out Make Moves Community Q&A Love is so elusive that it can seem like the quest to find it will never end.
And what happens if you really like them but aren't sure whether they're keen on you?
The words you use to describe others can mean a lot.
Some research suggests that people subconsciously associate the words you use to describe other people with your own personality, a phenomenon known in psychology as spontaneous trait transference.
They had 80 female college students work in pairs on a task, and facilitated a situation in which those students would "overhear" their partners talking about them.
(In reality, experimenters had told the partners what to say.) In the first of the study's four scenarios, the comments were uniformly positive; in the second, the comments were all negative; in the third, the comments changed from positive to negative; and in the fourth, the comments shifted from negative to positive.
Some studies have found that when it comes to winning people over, lavishing them with positive comments pales in comparison to giving negative feedback first and positive feedback later.
University of Minnesota researchers tried this out in a 1965 experiment.
A 1997 study by State University of New York psychologist Arthur Aron — the subject of a viral New York Times article called "Questions that can make you fall in love with a stranger" — is a classic example of this.
Aron essentially showed that two people who were willing to feel more connected to each other could do so, even within a short time.
The dating prospects then got split again — half were "revealers" who admitted to engaging in some unsavory behavior, like fantasizing about doing something terrible.
The other half were "hiders" who did not volunteer this information.
Overall, the students liked their partners best when their comments shifted from negative to positive, suggesting that people like to feel as though they've persuaded you in some way.