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4 Ways Kindness Leads to Love

October is National Kindness Month, and while you should practice being a good person all year ‘round, if you’re inspired to make your patch of the world a little brighter, consider this month your personal challenge to act. And though you might not need another incentive to smile at strangers, pick up someone’s coffee or open the door for someone, here’s another fun fact: being a kind, good person can do you a big favor while you’re looking for love.

Here are just a few reasons why kindness will help you find someone who is not only sweet like you…but sweet on you:

You are more attractive.

Last year, a study led by Yan Zhang of Huazhong University in China found that positive personality traits increase perceptions of facial attractiveness. What does that mean? Basically what your mama told you from the get-go: when you’re a nice person, people see that in you — and potential partners can find you more attractive as they get to know how loving and giving you really are.

You’ll have a longer marriage because you’ll live longer.

Whenever you extend a helping hand — during a date or on the walk home after the date — you’re not only showing how much goodness you have inside of you, but you’re improving the lives around you. In fact, if you’re someone who volunteers on the regular, a study by ABC News reported that you’ll actually live longer. So if you want to be with someone forever and ever (amen) — volunteer together! It’ll bring you closer, remind you of the beauty in the world, and ensure that you stick together for as long as you can.

You’re happier.

Experts say that while giving back might be a gene you’re born with, it can also be taught as you grow up or as you surround yourself with like minded people as an adult. However, when you are kind to others and you see them benefit from the joy, you instantly become happier too. Clinical psychologist Lara Honos-Webb, Ph.D says that when we’re kind to others, we release chemicals that are similar to the ‘runner’s high.’ “Doing something nice for someone also gives the brain a serotonin boost, the chemical that gives us that feeling of satisfaction and well-being,” she writes in a Psychology Today blog. And as we all know — happiness is way more attractive than being angry.

You have less stress in your life.

A study on baboons found that alpha males experienced higher stress levels than the ‘nicer’ baboons. This could mean that even if you have a lot going on — from a busy job to managing your finances and finding time for friends — giving back to others helps release your stress levels. Being giving also helps you see the bigger picture, making you less likely to have unnecessary fights with others, with more ability to not let stress interfere with any of your relationships.

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Lindsay Tigar is a 26-year-old single writer, editor, and blogger living in New York City. She started her popular dating blog, Confessions of a Love Addict, after one too many terrible dates with tall, emotionally unavailable men (her personal weakness) and is now developing a book about it, represented by the James Fitzgerald Agency. She writes for eHarmony, YourTango, REDBOOK, and more. When she isn’t writing, you can find her in a boxing or yoga class, booking her next trip, sipping red wine with friends or walking her cute pup, Lucy.