Dr. Duana Welch applies social science to people’s real-life relationship issues. She is the author of “Love Factually: 10 Proven Steps from I Wish to I Do,” which uses science to guide men and women through every stage of dating, from before they meet until they commit. Her second book, “Love Factually For Single Parents [& Those Dating Them],” releases worldwide in January 2019. Duana has been a professor at universities in Florida, California, and Texas. She has contributed to NPR, PBS, LA Talk Radio, Redbook, Time, The Daily Mail, Huffington Post, XO Jane, Psychology Today, Psych Alive, eHarmony, Plenty of Fish, redOrbit and numerous other outlets, podcasts and videos. She coaches men and women who want more love in their lives, globally via Skype, phone, and FaceTime.
In this interview, Duana begins by talking about her background and why she got into relationship coaching. She shares the story how she met her husband online, and discusses a study that shows couples who meet online tend to be happier. She also explains why “hunting” in the nightlife scene is a costly strategy, and how relationships only based on looks often don’t work out. Duana references another study about how men ascribe better qualities to women that they’re physically attracted to. Chris then talks about dating based on status and resources.
Next, Duana and Chris answer the age-old question: Can men and women just be friends? Duana explains why women look for provider and protector traits in romantic interests. They discuss the ways that women express interest in and test for interest in men. Duana and Chris also talk about some of the psychological games that people engage in when competing for a mate. Duana goes on to explain why women love humor, and offers tips for how men can use more humor in their interactions.
Chris then talks about differences in people’s range of behavior based on their status or hierarchy in a group. Duana shares advice on how reserved guys can be more open and direct, and emphasizes the importance of self-confidence. She discusses how dating is one long social intelligence test. Chris talks about the paradox of “just being yourself.” Duana then offers tips on how to make better first impressions and reveal information about yourself in the right way. She explains why women sometimes play hard to get. She also shares advice on how men can more clearly recognize consent.
Duana goes on to discuss the influence that looks and other non-physical traits play in attraction and love. She reveals the five traits that real love comes down to: kindness, respectfulness, lovingness, loyalty, and intelligence. We then ask Duana why people often have a harder time finding the right partner in today’s world. She explains how we’ve become spoiled by choice as a result of the internet and online dating. She also talks about why as women increase in achievement, status, education, their mating pool actually shrinks.
Chris and Duana discuss the social pressures regarding casual sex, differences between men and women, and the biological and cultural influences. Chris describes how past partners have affected what and who he’s attracted to. Finally, we ask Duana what it means to provide and protect in today’s society, where women might make more money or have greater status or power compared to men. She offers advice to help men navigate the modern dating world and find true love.
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