Did you know there are seven main factors that affect how likely you are to make friends or form a relationship with any given individual? With the right knowledge almost anyone can improve their chances of forming happy relationships.

Once you understand how these factors work, you will be able to use each one to help you make friends and maybe even spark something more with the right person.

  1. Proximity

What it means: How near you are, physically, to a potential friend or partner is an important factor in whether or not you will develop a relationship. Proximity boosts the odds that the two of you will end up communicating often and becoming friends.

What you can do about it: Get out more. Talk to your neighbors, classmates, co-workers, and other people you spend time around.

  1. Similarity

What it means: When making friends or forming relationships, people are usually attracted to those with similar values and hobbies, as well as a similar history and attitude.

Keep in mind that if someone is especially demanding, you may not be able to meet their needs

What you can do about it: Focus on developing the aspects of yourself that you find attractive in others. For example, if you’re interested in making friends with creative people, work on being more creative in your daily life.

  1. Appearance

What it means: Physical attractiveness is important in initial attraction, though it is less so in long-term relationship maintenance. People tend to look for friends and partners who are about as attractive as they are.

What you can do about it: This is probably the item on this list you have the least control over, but you can still invest time in good grooming, self-care, and healthy habits to attract people who do the same.

  1. Charisma

What it means: Charisma is what draws others to you. Charisma includes physical attractiveness, but also many other important factors, such as:

  • Skill, Knowledge, Experience
  • Enthusiasm
  • Trustworthiness
  • Competence
  • Power
  • Credibility

What you can do about it: Participating in activities you excel in, even if only as a hobby, around others can make you seem more skilled, knowledgeable, experienced, competent, and credible. Your ability to project enthusiasm, trustworthiness, and power depends heavily on your mental attitude, so foster a positive mindset.

  1. Complementary Needs

What it means: People seek others who meet their needs. The goal is for each partner to bring something to the friendship or relationship that the other person requires.

According to American psychologist William Schutz, there are three main relationship needs people have, to various degrees:

  • Inclusion: belonging with others
  • Control: exercising power over others or seeking guidance from them
  • Affection: expressing love for others and seeking such expressions from them

What you can do about it: Begin by understanding your own needs, then fulfilling other people’s needs in a healthy way. Keep in mind that if someone is especially demanding, you may not be able to meet their needs, so be ready to set boundaries.

The average person likes people who like them, and dislikes people who dislike them.

  1. Reciprocity

What it means: The average person likes people who like them, and dislikes people who dislike them.

What you can do about it: Learn to genuinely like other people. Find at least one thing you like about each new acquaintance. It’s easier to inspire people to like you by genuinely liking them than trying to make them like you.

  1. Predicted Outcome

What it means: People assess the potential that comes with each relationship by how likely it is to meet their needs. This is weighed against the predicted costs of the relationship. The greater the predicted outcome-value of the relationship, the more attractive the relationship.

What you can do about it: Focus on showing others how you can provide value to them. Don’t be too demanding in the early stages of making friends or dating; you will get out of each relationship what you contribute to it.

Sound complicated?

Keep in mind that these factors tend to come into play naturally when you are making friends or meeting potential partners, whether you pay conscious attention to them or not. Being aware of them is just intended to help you form connections in a more empowered, focused way.

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