Valentine’s Day gets the media talking about love for once, instead of war and politics. This morning, CBC Radio was interviewing Dr. Helen Fisher, an evolutionary anthropologist from Rutgers University. She’s written a book about the biological reasons behind love. Her theories are kind of interesting. She breaks down human attraction into three components: lust, romantic love, and attachment. As human beings we look for all three in our partners. Each of the three is influenced by different chemicals in the brain, and different stimuli. Very scientific. 😛 Some of the points she made:
– Love can make you swing from absolute elation when things are going well, to total dispair when they are not going well.
– People who are in love think about each other 85-95% of the time.
– Orgasms are accompanied by a spike of dopamine in your brain, just before a flood of chemicals that creates bonds of attraction, so don’t sleep with people you don’t want to get involved with because you might end up falling in love with someone you can’t bring home to mom. 😛
– Women are attracted to features in a man that would make him a good protector and provider. Men are attracted to features in a woman that would make her suitable for childbearing. Therefore, women build attraction to a man by the things he says and does, while men build attraction based on things they can see about a woman. For these reasons, men generally fall in love faster than women.
– The host said all of this sounds like it’s a recipe for unhappiness. Dr. Fisher responded that our bodies are designed for reproduction, not happiness. Happiness is up to us to achieve ourselves.
You can hear the broadcast here.