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Psychologists Reveal How You Know You’ve Found ‘The One’

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Psychologists Reveal How You Know You’ve Found ‘The One’

Relationships, we can probably all agree, are a tricky business at the best of times. Getting from a swipe right on Tinder, to making it past the first date and then sailing into ‘official relationship’ territory, well it can all feel a lot like running a gauntlet that you’ve been incredibly poorly prepared for. But if you do manage to make it successfully into coupledom — slaps on backs and clinking glasses from all of us here – the next question you’ll need to ask yourself is this; are they really ‘The One’?

Now regardless of whether you’re onboard with the idea that there’s just one single person out there, among the 7.6 billion people on Earth, that you’re destined to spend the rest of your life with, the fact remains that some people are just better suited to each other. Here’s a cute Answers post talking about that magic.

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It’s also true that, once you’ve presumably found this adorably compatible creature, knowing whether you’re meant to be together long-term or something akin to lusty convenience, is again, well, a bit tricky.

Do you feel calm, at peace, and genuinely happy? That is a great indicator.

“When you’ve found The One, the relationship just flows. Things are fairly easy,” says the admirably optimistic Jeannie Assimos, Chief of Advice at online dating site eHarmony. “You understand each other’s viewpoints and perceptions, and either accept them or feel the same way. If a relationship is characterized by conflict, strife or butting heads on a regular basis, that likely tells you the compatibility is not there.”

“A huge indicator that you’ve found The One? It’s just easy being with this person,” she says. “You feel at home, totally comfortable, and are able to be yourself. Paying attention to how we feel when we’re around someone is important. Do you feel calm, at peace, and genuinely happy? That is a great indicator.”

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Trusting your gut feeling, however, can feel like a leap of faith. So how about a checklist of science-backed indicators instead?

Luckily, there’s a cohort of top psychologists and relationship experts out there who have made it their mission to uncover the complexities and subtleties of love’s effect on the brain. From changes in your vocabulary to tell-tale Instagram behavior, here’s the expert take on whether you’re dealing with a fling or the real thing.

Your Brain Changes

A sure-fire indicator of a relationship being the real deal is that you don’t experience that ‘out of sight, out of mind’ phenomenon when your partner isn’t around. Instead, you’ll tend to think about them a lot – almost all the time, in fact.

Love and genuine attachment actually alter the biochemical reactions taking place in your brain

A 2005 study carried out by researchers at New York’s Stony Brook University suggests this is because real love and genuine attachment actually alter the biochemical reactions taking place in your brain.

When you think about The One, you’ll get a surge of happiness-boosting neurotransmitter dopamine plus a lighting up of the brain’s reward centers.

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All of that makes us feel warm and fuzzy, which is why we’re more likely to keep indulging in these happy thoughts regularly. Especially in the earlier stages of a strong relationship, when the effects are at their most potent.

Your Pronouns Change

As Assimos quite rightly points out: “The One is not going to try and change you. They’ll accept you for who you are, and become your biggest supporter in life.”

Those who feel deeply connected to their partner are more likely to use plural pronouns such as ‘we’ and ‘us’

Broadly speaking, that’s true. However, one way in which they will inevitably, albeit unintentionally, change you is by influencing your daily pronoun use.

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In a 2002 study, psychologists at the University of Texas at Austin, found that those who feel deeply connected to their partner are more likely to use plural pronouns such as ‘we’ and ‘us’, rather than the singular ‘I’ or ‘me’.

The findings have since been confirmed by every person who’s ever had to attend a couples’ dinner as a singleton. And we feel for you.

You’re Willing To Fight

Old Willy Shakes was right on the money when he declared the course of true love to be an often rocky road. But as research psychologist Luis Rubén de Borbón observes, a willingness to fight for the success of your relationship is what really sets The One apart. Even more so than how ‘compatible’ two people might be on paper.

A successful relationship… hangs on by the sheer will power and want to stay in a relationship.

“Everyone who is unhappy [in their relationship] naturally blames it on the facade of compatibility,” he writes. “They fail to realize and comprehend that a successful relationship does not hinge its posterity on how alike you are, instead it hangs on by the sheer will power and want to stay in a relationship.”

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Leading life coach, Olga Levancuka, agrees: “You need to keep in mind that finding The One doesn’t mean finding a clone of you who shares exactly the same passions or meets your exact expectations,” she says.

“It means finding someone who is prepared to make your relationship work and you’re prepared to do the same. Relationships aren’t all about romantic getaways and butterflies, they can be hard work and you both have to be prepared to build solid foundations.”

You Happily Sacrifice

As Levancuka describes, if you’ve met The One, you’ll both be cool with making certain sacrifices for each other, even if historically, you’ve always been more about looking out for yourself as number one.

Psychologists call this ‘costly commitment signals’ – when we carry out acts or behave in ways that are likely to ‘cost’ us either in terms of our time, money or our emotions, simply because we want to help our significant other.

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A 2015 study carried out by psychologists at Japan’s Kobe University, found that relationships where this kind of behavior was either absent or infrequent, were less likely to go the distance.

You Don’t Overshare

Those folks who post loved-up couple selfies on the regular? They’re likely trying their best to compensate for a bond that, in all reality, just isn’t there. According to Levancuka, if your partner isn’t plastering your relationship all over their social media feeds, it’s actually a strong indicator that all’s well in Couplesville.

If they are oversharing it could be a sign of insecurity

“Unfortunately, social media is now an essential part of our daily lives, to the point where every moment needs to be documented and recorded. Happy couples who take their relationship seriously, however, tend not to share much information about their relationship online,” she explains.

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Shutterstock / Monkey Business Images

“It’s perfectly normal for your partner to share the occasional picture of you, but happy couples are busy enjoying each other’s company in the present. This means that they’re not going to stop enjoying each other’s company just to post a status or snap a selfie.

“If they are oversharing it could be a sign of insecurity, or that they’re more concerned about how you add to their social image rather than being focused on how you enrich their day-to-day life.”

You’ve Polled Your Friends and Family

According to psychologists, what those closest to us think of our partner can have a huge influence over how a relationship turns out.

When you’ve found The One, you want everyone in your life to meet them

A 2014 study also found that since those around us can have such an impact on our love lives, it’s common to want to ‘marshall support’ for your budding romance.

So, if you’ve not only introduced your partner to your friends and family, but also found yourself soliciting feedback from all parties concerned while simultaneously highlighting all your partner’s virtues, it’s highly likely you’ve found The One – especially if everyone gelled on the night.

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“When you’ve found The One, you want everyone in your life to meet them, and get to know them,” says Assimos. “You are genuinely excited about the prospect of being with this person, and you’re no longer are looking around to see what else is out there.”

They Are Your #1 Cheerleader

According to famed psychological researcher Dr. John Gottman, supporting each other’s ‘life dreams’, aka your long-term goals and ambitions, is a key component of a healthy and lasting relationship.

Couples who focused on building something together, whether it be a business or working towards a shared goal, tended to stay together the longest.

For Gottman, The One should “look up to you, admire you, and respect you.” In other words, they’ll become your biggest champion and an ever-reliable source of support and encouragement.

Levancuka takes the same view: “The happiest relationships are built on mutual respect, so even if you both have different interests you want to pursue, The One will be there to encourage and support you.”

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Shutterstock / George Rudy

You’ll find yourself heavily invested in helping to build them up, too. In fact, Gottman’s years of research found that couples who focused on building something together, whether it be a business or working towards a shared goal, tended to stay together the longest.

Bedroom Gymnastics Isn’t Your Only Hobby

Naturally, sex plays a huge part in a healthy relationship, and being physically attracted to your partner as well as enjoying their company is a vital checkpoint.

If all your plans somehow incorporate time alone where you might be able to have sex then the alarm bells should start ringing.

But if sex is the only thing you do together when you’ve managed to carve out some downtime, we’re very sorry to point out that this may not be a good sign.

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Shutterstock / Y Photo Studio

“Sex is great and you should be having lots of it, but it’s important to build a stronger, emotional bond beyond that,” says Levancuka. “If all your plans somehow incorporate time alone where you might be able to have sex then the alarm bells should start ringing. With The One, you need to be able to have fun around each other without the need for sex.”

You’re In Sync

“When you’re synced with your partner you are fully present with that person – mind and body. In a romantic relationship it’s important to feel connected to someone in this way. When that connection is there, we feel seen, heard, valued, respected, and cherished,” says Levancuka.

But if you thought this whole business of synchronicity was more pseudoscience than anything concrete, a 2016 paper published by research psychologists is here to prove you wrong.

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Shutterstock / George Rudy

As Levancuka quite rightly asserts: “Scientists have found that some couples are so in tune that their brains begin to work in sync. That means they’ve reached a state in which their nervous systems are ticking over in harmony, helping them to read each other’s thoughts and emotions.”

According to the researchers, just sitting next to The One for 15 minutes is enough to sync-up.

Now you’ve got the checklist, better start paying a closer eye to what’s going on up top.

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Fashion

12 Best Workout Shorts for Men That Look Pretty Great When You Aren’t Working Out, Too

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There’s probably a big difference between the best workout shorts for men and the stained sweatpant cutoffs you’ve been wearing for bi-weekly crunches and leg lifts in front of the TV this past year. And if you’ve paused your gym membership (and still haven’t been able to find any adjustable dumbbells in stock) the best use of your monthly stay-somewhat-in-shape budget right now might just be a fresh pair of performance shorts that will get you excited about the idea of moving your body vigorously outdoors on a regular basis.

Over the past several years we’ve sweated in a wide array of different gym and running shorts. To determine the best we’ve considered, price, durability, hand feel, and a host of other variables. Is the stretchy performance fabric actually breathable? If there’s a lining, does it actually stay put or does it ride up after the third deep lunge? Where are the pockets and can they actually succeed at holding the things one needs while doing different kinds of work outs? And, of course, do the shorts look good enough that you wouldn’t mind running some errands in them on the way to the run? Below, here are the 12 best workout shorts for men we’ve found. They should help you make some gains and look pretty good doing it. 

The Most Versatile Workout Shorts

Outdoor Voices Anytime workout shorts

Outdoor Voices’ workout shorts were the clear winner of our 2020 fitness awards for a host of reasons. First, a Tik-Tok-approved 5-inch inseam means no extra fabric getting in the way. Second, they’re constructed from extremely tech-y fabric which is both breathable and water-resistant, with a comfy protective built-in liner (that stays put) and plenty of pockets to hold all your essentials whether you’re on a run or lifting at the gym. Think of them as the gym-rat younger brother of the ubiquitous Patagonia Baggies. 

The Best Workout Shorts for Getting After It at the Gym

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Ten Thousand Interval short

Ten Thousand makes a lot of workout gear, but it got its start back in 2014 with a simple pair of shorts and a shirt. We dug version 1.0, which we tried back in 2015, but the company has spent the intervening years making small tweaks and adjustment to the design that have made it even better. The updates retain the shorts extremely minimalist aesthetic, but add a bunch of little hidden touches, including hidden zipper pockets. The thing you’ll notice the most as you actually use the shorts though is how they move. Thanks to the un-bunchable, pinch-free waistband and extremely flexible shell, the short both somehow molds perfectly to your body and expands easily with your movement. If you’re looking for the best shorts for going absolutely nuts on the battle ropes, look no further.

The Best Workout Shorts for Runners

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Tracksmith “Ekiden” running shorts

Serious runners require serious running shorts. And nobody designs more serious running kits than Tracksmith, the Boston label that transplants Chariots of Fire–era aesthetics onto modern marathon-ready gear. Its latest concoction is these thigh-high split shorts inspired by Japan’s Hakone Ekiden—a legendary 218-kilometer relay race—fashioned from plush, antimicrobial mesh. You’re not going to be able to fit your phone into the 2.5-inch inseam, but the shorts manage to make space for two internal pockets that hold your keys or one of those race-day sports goo packets. 

The Best All-Around Workout Shorts

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Rhone “Mako” workout shorts

The Rhone Mako short is a little bit gymmier than you might want to wear on a day to day basis, but it’s all in service of performance. Their stretchy fabric feels smooth against your skin, and yields that satisfying swish-swish rustling noise with each successive stride. Its full-zip, standalone smartphone hip pocket is the best-executed and most secure version out of all the shorts we tested. They’re available in both 7-inch and 9-inch inseams, so are a good option for shorter guys and/or taller guys who want to show some thigh.

8 More Workout Shorts We Love

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Patagonia Strider Pro workout shorts

We wholeheartedly endorse doing HIIT in your 5-inch Patagonia baggies, but if you prefer a slightly techier Patagonia offering for working out, these fast-drying shorts are ideal for runners, thanks to a super streamlined design.
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Lululemon T.H.E. workout short

Lululemon’s shorts are made from a buttery smooth, cool-to-the-touch fabric that feels super luxurious. The shorts aren’t as substantial as the Outdoor Voices and Rhone shorts, but that also makes them plenty breathable.

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Adidas Squadra 17 workout shorts

An extremely cheap, classic option. These will not be your “forever” shorts, but they’ll hold up just fine for a few seasons.

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Brooks Sherpa split workout short

If the idea of 3-inch running shorts gives you pause, internalize this pair’s perfect tagline: “less short, more speed.”

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Satisfy short distance workout shorts

The liner on these lightweight shorts is just a tad longer than the shorts themselves, making the bold snakeskin print all the more striking. They pack an internal phone pocket, an external zipper pocket, and a key carabiner into one streamlined and stylish package.

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Rec Gen Type 2 lite workout short

If AirPod buds tend to fall out of your ears by the second squat or your simply remain devoted to your reliable fully-wired headphones, Rec Gen might be a good option. The brand’s shorts come with a small headphone pocket that corrals wires, leading them up to your ears along your back to ensure you don’t get tangled while doing curls.

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Nike Flex Stride workout shorts

Nike’s shorts include a breathable and supportive soft inner liner. They also have more than enough pockets to cover your PKW needs—two on the sides, and a zippered one just above the butt.

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Under Armour Locker workout shorts

Clean and unobtrusive, with a roomy 9-inch inseam, these light workout shorts come in about a billion colors.

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Fashion

Why the Canadian Tuxedo Is the Perfect Style Detox

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pDennis Hopper during the filming of emThe Last Movieem 1971.p

There’s a common adage you hear about great masters in their fields: the Michelin-starred chef who, after a long day composing gastronomical wonders in the kitchen, comes home craving the simplicity of a grilled cheese; the musical genius who listens to nothing but white noise anywhere outside of the studio. No one would ever mistake me for a great master of anything, but even I—your humble middle-of-the-road menswear blogger—sometimes need a mental vacation from thinking about clothes after the endless hours of internet garm-wrangling I put in everyday. About every six months or so, I’ll open my closet in the morning and instantly feel like Rocky in the 14th round, bleary-eyed and overmatched and unable to piece together even a half-decent fit. I can’t see nothing. You gotta dress me, Mick! In those instances, I’ve come to rely on a uniform that helps me realign my sartorial chakras: denim-on-denim.

Dennis Hopper during the filming of The Last Movie, 1971.

Everett Collection

That’s right, the Canadian Tuxedo. When I first stumbled into this semi-regular habit a couple of years back, it was completely subconscious: every day for a week or so, without really thinking about it, I’d pull on my trusty 501s with my even-trust-ier trucker jacket, plucked for a pittance from the Club Monaco sale rack more than a decade ago in college and put through absolute hell ever since. What peculiar forces had drawn me to double denim, exactly? Perhaps it was a comforting nod to my roots north of the border, or a small tribute to the decades of style gods who have donned it before me: your Marvins, your Hoppers, your Meryls, your Kermits. But mostly, I think, I leaned on it for its quiet functionality. No matter what you wear underneath—a plain tee or a freaky camp shirt, a hoodie or a polo—there’s a purpose-driven clarity to pairing jeans and a jean jacket. A few days of palate-cleansing indigo, and I’m right back ready to furiously stunt on the world like post-baseball Mike.

Bob Marley in London, July  24, 1975. 

Michael Putland / Getty Images

Michael Douglas during the filming of Napoleon and Samantha, 1972.

Getty Images

Lately, I’ve taken to calling these occasional denim-heavy stretches my Style Detoxes. Even if you aren’t as enamored with the rugged ease of all-jean-everything as I am, it’s a useful practice to adopt from time to time. The next time you wake up sick of all your own clothes, too weary to decide what to wear, go with your gut and throw on something effortless and innocuous. Then wear it again, and again, and again, and again—à la Doug from Doug—until you’re ready to return to getting dressed with fresh eyes and renewed intention.

Eric Clapton and John Lennon perform in Wembley, December 11, 1968.

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Princess Diana with her sons in Lech, Austria, March 30, 1993.

Tim Graham / Getty Images

Maybe your Style Detox is wearing head-to-toe white like Andrew W.K. or head-to-toe black like a Chelsea gallerist. Maybe it’s the perfect tracksuit or the perfect suit-suit. Whatever you land on, I’ll be floating above it all in my dungaree-induced meditative trance. If you’d like to join me, here are a handful of hard-wearing ways to do just that.

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Levi’s 501 original shrink-to-fit jeans

Tough to beat the brand that invented the look.

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Uniqlo U cotton trucker jacket

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Uniqlo U regular fit jeans

Christophe Lemaire brings his artful Parisian eye to an all-American ensemble.

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Oni Denim 16oz natural indigo jean jacket

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Oni Denim 16oz natural indigo neat straight jeans

Ready to see what all the hype is about over Japanese denim? Let this gorgeous slubby set be your introduction.

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A.P.C. New Standard jeans

The label that introduced you to raw denim does the whole stonewash thing better than most, too.

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Everlane relaxed 4-way stretch organic jean

Rockstar-ify your Canadian Tuxedo with a little pitch black denim.

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Todd Snyder stretch denim jacket

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Todd Snyder slim fit selvedge jean

Trashed like a perfect thrift store find, minus the impossible-to-wash-out thrift store smell.

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Fashion giant H&M pauses placing new orders in Myanmar

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Fashion giant H&M pauses placing new orders in Myanmar

STOCKHOLM – Sweden’s H&M, the world’s second-biggest fashion retailer, said on Monday it was shocked by the use of deadly force against protesters in Myanmar and that it had paused placing orders in the country.

Police and military have killed more than 50 people to quell daily demonstrations and strikes against a Feb. 1 military coup, according to the United Nations last week.

H&M has around 45 direct suppliers in Myanmar, it said on its website, and has sourced in the country for seven years.

“Although we refrain from taking any immediate action regarding our long-term presence in the country, we have at this point paused placing new orders with our suppliers,” Serkan Tanka, Country Manager Myanmar, said in an email.

“This is due to practical difficulties and an unpredictable situation limiting our ability to operate in the country, including challenges related to manufacturing and infrastructure, raw material imports and transport of finished goods.”

Two protesters were killed by gunshot wounds to the head in Myanmar on Monday, witnesses said, while shops, factories and banks were closed in the main city Yangon as part of the uprising against the country’s military rulers.

Tanka said H&M was extremely concerned about the situation in the country and that it was in dialogue with UN agencies, diplomatic representatives, human rights experts, trade unions and other multinational companies.

“These consultations will guide us in any future decision in relation to how we as a company can best contribute to positive developments in accordance with the will of the people in Myanmar,” he said.

Myanmar’s garment industry is smaller than that of neighboring countries Bangladesh, China and Thailand. However, its around 600 factories are significant employers, providing jobs for around 450,000 workers in 2020, according to the Myanmar Garment Manufacturers Association

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