celibacy, life, love, men, relationships, women

The biology of mate choice

In her book “Anatomy of love“, Dr. Helen Fisher defines four categories of personalities. The first is the explorer, a person born free, curious, creative, spontaneous, energetic, novelty seeking and open-minded. This kind of people will look for a partner who will either leap off the coach to go adventuring with them (in the deserts, mountains, seas or cities) or join them at the movies, ballet, theatre or opera, or explore nature or whatever captures their fancy at the moment. Explorers look for other explorers, writes Helen Fisher.

The second category is the builder, a person traditional, calm, cautious, who likes the familiar. That kind of people follows the rules, respects authority, enjoys plans, routines and schedules. They tend to be modest, orderly, and conscientious. Builders look for other builders.

But Helen Fisher says that men and women who are foremost expressive of the traits associated with testosterone and estrogen  can be attracted by their opposite. Men with expressive traits of testosterone have high forehead, heavy brow bridges, high cheekbones, and chiseled jaw. They are also gifted by spatial and math skills.  People with a great deal of estrogen activity tend to see the big picture, are imaginative, display superior verbal skills, excel at reading postures, gestures, facial expressions and tones of voice and are intuitive, sympathetic, nurturing, mentally flexible, agreeable, idealistic, altruistic and emotionally expressive.

The people with a great deal of testosterone activity are called directors.  They are inventive, openly competitive, bold and tough-minded. Helen Fisher writes that this kind of people are the most likely to harass their significant other after a break up.

The people with a great deal of estrogen are called negotiators,  savvy at dealing with people. They are drawn to directors, and idem mutatis mutandis. Helen Fisher says negotiators are the most likely to commit suicide of fall into depression when their significant other let them go.

Our chemical system plays a role in our choice of partners, according to her. For women, the smell of their potential partner is very important. That’s why most of them are at disadvantage with online dating, because they lack the smell cue. Sometimes, we can’t explain why we fall for a person. Psychologists would say we fall for the partner who reminds us of the parent we have the most difficult relationship with. The explanation is not always rational.

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celibacy, life, love, men, relationships, thoughts, women

He likes wealthy women

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I dream about wealthy women. I would like to date one of them who will want to sustain me” said one of my friends. He said that while laughing, adding he will probably last three weeks in this kind of relationship. He’s not a boy toy.

I told him he will be crushed in this kind of relationship because even if he’s not poor, his wealthy girlfriend would probably think he’s lazy or doesn’t do anything good. One of my friends, who used to date a wealthy woman, told me she was very mean with him, always gunning down him in front of other people. Wealthy people are much more meticulous about matters of law and propriety than people who are not that rich. So they are very careful about their wealth. In general.  My friend who used to date one of them told me his ex used him to parade at gala, but he felt she didn’t love him for who he is.

Women marry ‘up’ in income according to Elizabeth McClintock, but they tend to marry high status men when they are themselves high status. I don’t think a high status woman would be kind to sustain a man unless that man used to be high status. And even that case is not obvious.  I can’t see Amal Clooney leaving George to start a relationship with a man who just wants to be sustained by her. Nor Hillary Clinton, nor Melissa Gates,…

I don’t think I would accept to sustain a man either, to be fair. I expect the men I date to be financially independent at least. The only men I would sustain if there was a problem would be my godsons.

But I can understand my friend about some comfort to be in a relationship where your date invite you at his/her second/third/fourth residence located in the Bahamas, Courchevel, … Although I would be proud to pay for my vacations there…

 

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broken heart, life, love, men, relationships, thoughts, women

Why do we cheat?

Why do we cheat? The number one reason is related to sex. When we don’t feel satisfied sexually either by a lack of sex or of emotions, we tend to search other gardens. The next reason is simply because we fall in love with someone else. Some people also cheat out of revenge (because they’ve been cheated). Some people also cheat because they search for different experiences every day, week,…

Recently, one of my friends told me that every woman who is over 40 is a cheater. I was shocked when he said that, because most of my female friends who are over 40 are not that kind. Most of them are happily married. They would admit to me if they were cheating on their husband. Women who are 40 are at top of their sexually, so yes, they can be very demanding sexually. But it’s not a reason to be a cheater because of that.

To be cheated is a betrayal. Some couples do survive infidelity though. And polyamorous couples do accept their significant other’s lovers. But we’re not all forgiving infidelity. Because we’re jealous animals.

Most of my friends told me if their significant other cheat on them, they will have difficulty to forgive. One of them even ask me to tell her the truth about her significant other if I see him with another woman. My friend was cheated when she was younger. She found, three days before of her wedding, her future husband with another girl on his lap kissing and laughing in a bar. Since then, she has had difficulty to trust her other lovers.

My other friend didn’t told me if he was cheated on before. But he changes quickly the conversation when we talk about that. I guess it’s sensitive for him.

Infidelity isn’t only sexual. We can bond emotionally with someone else because our emotional needs are not met in our couple.

But I understand how hard it is to be cheated on. It feels like you’re not the number one in your significant other’s heart anymore. It hurts.

 

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celibacy, life, love, men, relationships, thoughts, women

Lost in emoticons (miscommunication)

Recently, I had a chat with a friend of mine on WhatsApp, and it turned a bit awkward. It went like this.

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He sent me an emoticon with the head upside down. I didn’t understand this emoticon because I’m not used to this. I only use just the ones very obvious and very usual. I thought he was drunk because it was late. I asked him if he was drunk. He said he wasn’t. Then I asked him why he sent me this, and he replied by another emoticon I didn’t understand  either. I felt powerless and left the conversation after sending him a last emoticon.

GroupLens, a research Lab from the University of Minnesota, found that different people had vastly different interpretations of some popular emojis. Using emojis can be at high risk of miscommunication.

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So, yes, it’s tricky to use emoticons in a conversation.

My friend is very complexed by his writings, and he usually sends me a lot of pictures and emojis to fill the conversation. Fortunately, he’s a much  better conversation face to face and in groups.

But I wouldn’t recommend anyone to use emoticons to make a move with someone you fancy.

It’s the best way to fall into endless back and forth, and feel frustrated because it leads to nowhere.

A clear and firm invitation to meet for a drink, a coffee, a restaurant, … is always a better option.

Texting has its limit.

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life, love, men, relationships, thoughts, women

Cougars (the age gap between lovers)

During the presidential elections in France, many comments were directed at Emmanuel Macron’s wife, Brigitte, who is 24 years his senior. Many attacks and critics  are targeted at the presidential candidates, and their relatives/friends/ assistant.  In the United States, Donald Trump’s wife, Melania, was not saved from those critics. But those critics were never raised against their age difference, even if they share with the new French presidential couple, the same age gap (24 years).

Melania Trump was never suspected to be gay for loving a much older man than her.  In France, there were doubts the presidential couple’s love was not genuine. As if a man couldn’t love someone older than him.  The only difference between these two couples is the moment when they fell in love. Emmanuel Macron was only 15 when he fell in love with his future wife. While Melania was 27 when she met Donald Trump for the first time.

In theory, should we all fall in love with someone who shares the same age than us? Would we be better off with someone who’s born in the same year than us?

With someone who is from the same generation than us, we can share many common points, the same experiences, the same references because of our education, the same values,… And we will age at the same rhythm. “With someone older, you will face all of his illness linked to his age. It’s a risk” says one of my friends. “As you age, the burden of age will be more difficult for your older partner. There will be some activities you can’t do with him” she added.

I don’t agree with her. With someone who shares the same age than us, there can be some major differences. If you’re introverted,  don’t like many social interactions  and prefer the comfort of your couch with a good book, you can clash with a partner who is the exact opposite than you. Whether she/he’s older or younger, or not than you. We can share zero common point apart the age with someone who’s as old as you. Besides, yes, there is a chance the older one in your couple can die before you. But life can decide otherwise. You can be hit by a bus tomorrow or die in an accident. There are no age to die.

We fall in love with the one who holds the promise to change our life. It’s not a conscientious act. It’s not like we can choose someone out of a catalog who will have all the qualities we look in a partner. Of course, if the one we love is violent or verbally abusive, we should leave him/her alone.

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Future sex

In her book “Future Sex“, the journalist Emily Witt explores the limit of what we would call free love. She writes about her experience with online dating, porn, polyamory, internet babes and the childless option. If I do follow her conclusions, this list may predict the future of relationship, where internet have a strong place, except for polyamory (although I have met on dating app some men who were into this type of open relationship).

 The journalist wrote she had a problem feeling attracted by the men she met online. I do understand her, because I’m  bit lost on dating app like Tinder. I don’t really feel attracted right away by a man just by looking at his picture. Emily Witt said she wasn’t  into her online date when she met them face to face. Maybe it’s because women don’t have a smell cue when they meet someone online. That smell cue can be useful when you meet someone face to face in a bar or a cafe or a concert,… The journalist compared the attraction she had for men she met in parties, bars, … and men she met online.

Emily Witt also wrote about a couple working for Google who are into polyamory. It’s not a surprise, since in the Silicon Valley, there is a new sexual revolution where love takes the form of many lovers at the same time. Elsewhere, it’s just infidelity or open relationships, which are not so sustainable on the long run , because we are jealous by nature.

This book rises a question: can we be ourselves if we multiply lovers, and if we allow the distance internet creates between people? The future looks bleak then.

On the other hand, internet remains a mean to meet people. But it’s just a way. Internet remains useless when it comes to create a bond with someone.  And it’s easy to think, thanks to dating apps, online dating,… we can always find someone better. It’s the best way to end up alone.

Yet, we can’t force people to stay into our life.

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Are women disadvantaged with online dating?

Scott Solomon, a biologist at Rice University, explains women don’t benefit very well from online dating and dating apps. Because women rely on various criteria to choose their partner , while men rely on their sole vision to find a woman attractive. Solomon adds women use smell to evaluate a potential partner. The smell cues are not available online. So to be sure, we had to accept a date to know right away if the guy is worthy or not. And yes, if I can’t stand the smell of the man in front of me, I will rule him out immediately.

It’s true I look for common points, pictures, lines, … on Tinder before I swipe right or left a guy. A man I would find attractive only by his looks will turn me down. When I see a very handsome man on Tinder, I just feel not very pretty enough for him. So I swipe him left.

There are also another problem with dating app like Tinder. Many men use that dating app for “confidence-boosting procrastination”. It’s the case for millennials. But older men do that too. That’s why even if you swipe right many men and they swipe you right too, you don’t engage in much conversation with them. Out of ten men I had a match with, only one started a conversation with me. Out of the 53 matches I got so far on Tinder, I’ve only started the conversation with ten of them. Most of the time, I was the one who made the first move. At that rhythm, I would be better off with Bumble (the dating app where women make the first move).

But there’s also an other explanation. Two of my dates I met on Tinder told me they swiped right almost every woman they saw on Tinder. They added once they got their match, they select the women they will start the conversation with. One of them told me he used another app to see who like him on Tinder, and then he selects the ones who really interest him.

There’s a deep feeling there are a lot of oysters on dating app, but no pearl. Yet, some people do find each other with Tinder, Bumble, or with online dating. Some people find their match right away, with the beginner’s luck. Other take their time, and some are more comfortable with online dating sites like OkCupid where you have to fill a long multiple-choice survey questions in order to find someone compatible with you. Although there’s a limit with those dating sites too. There’s a story of a math genius named Chris McKinlay who hacked OkCupid to find true love. He used bots to collect the datas left by women on this dating site and to elaborate his optimal dating profile. Over three weeks, he  received 20,000 answers from women, which he narrowed to 88 dates. Only three lead to a second date. Only one lead to a third date. None of them resulted in a serious relationship. He eventually met his significant other thanks to OkCupid. But she was the one who found him, without hacking her profile.

One of my friends told me dating apps, online dating sites, … are just occasions to meet someone new. “After you meet, relationships begin or not” he said. “Yes, it’s superficial, but the dates you get with Tinder, … are not. People are much more complicated than their  online profile” he added. After the meeting, it’s up to us to create a bond, if we like the person who stands in front of us at the bar or the coffee shop,…

For women, those meetings are crucial, because it’s the only way for them to use their smell. But I’m not sure women don’t benefit that much with online dating than men.

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