life, love, thoughts, women

Love at first sight

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Love at first sight can happen between two persons. Usually, at first, we feel a strong attraction to the other one, but we try to deny our feelings. Because it can happen we are struck by love at first sight while we’re already in a relationship, married, with children. It’s difficult to resist to that feeling even though you will lose your marriage in the process. But our feeling is so strong we don’t even think about the consequences of your act. People just follow their heart when they are struck by love at first sight.

But does it mean it will last forever? Love at first sight can be not mutual, and it can die quickly because the love isn’t met. When it’s mutual, it’s not guaranteed to last either. Because as the biologist Helen Fisher says, love lasts only two years. After, you start to get annoyed by your partner. What you found so charming at the beginning suddenly turns you off.

It can even fizzle before the two years period. One of my friends left her long term relationship for a married man who decided to divorce for her (in fact, it was his wife who wanted a divorce), but unfortunately, their relationship only lasted six months, because they didn’t come from the same social circles, and their relationship was not validated by their family and friends, as they thought my friend just lost her mind. Eventually, my friend’s lover left her for another woman. So the feeling may be high at the beginning, but the landing can be really hard.

The person you just see across the room now and who seems illuminated by a halo may not be a great match for you after all. It’s only a physical attraction, with a need to know everything about our significant other. Men are more driven by this kind of feelings than women, as they are visual creatures.

But only the long run can tell if your love at first sight can last. True love takes time. The New York Times wedding sections relates many cases when the bride and groom took their time to fall in love and decide to get married.

Only fools rush in.

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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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