Let's Play a Love Game


| 6 Comments
Excuse the Lady Gaga reference, but I wanted to discuss what makes even the meat-dress wearing celebrity need love. Obviously our role as humans is to conceive offspring, but how do we choose who makes a prime mating partner? Do we just leap for the nearest available partner? Or have we evolved enough to make mature choices about who would be most desired to raise new offspring? After doing some research, I came across this article that explains why we're addicted to love and how we choose who to fall in love with. 

One of the main factors of attraction isn't actually how built a guy is or how short the girl's skirt is--it's actually how a person smells. Perhaps that's why people walk around smelling like Abrocrombie & Fitch every day. If someone smells terrible, then a person of interest can translate that to disease. Whereas if someone smells like vanilla, that can be translated to baking cookies for potential offspring, thus indicating a motherly instinct. Even the scent of menstruation can effect the male's interest. According to Jeffrey Kluger of Time Magazine,   "strippers who are ovulating average $70 in tips per hour; those who are menstruating make $35; those who are not ovulating or menstruating make $50." Thus, those who are ready to conceive are considered the sexiest, even to men who are not looking to have sex with these women. 

That's not to say that looks don't have much importance in choosing a partner. Women with hips and breasts appeal to men because they're showing that they can easily birth a child and have ample resources to nurse. And muscular men appeal to women because they can more easily defend their household, and, y'know, hunt the Ramen noodle wild beast.  

So why not just have sex and get all the politics of dating out of the way? Is paying for an overpriced coffee at Starbucks really going to prove your worth as a mate? In the long run, the answer is yes. Dating allows people to get to know each other, and when you've found out you're not the only freak who will gladly watch five hours of Gilmore Girls marathons, a good-feeling chemical called Dopamine gets released, and you may end up simply feeling satisfied with the emotional closeness, rather than the physical. 

So in the end, it seems the process of falling in love, torturous as it may feel, is worth it. Maybe we were originally just built to mate, but going out can have its advantages.

What do you think? Has dating given you that "feel good" sense? Do you think we can ever evolve to not just think about sex? 


6 Comments

Hi Kira! I found your blog post really interesting, we both actually have written blogs about attraction and why people are attracted to certain things. I found the information you found about scent really interesting, and what I looked up on wikipedia coincided with your information! I also agree with your last paragraph, that yes dating is still necessary! You're research that people are attracted to smells/hips/masculinity is correct, but that isn't what keep people attracted. I think that even though the initial attraction we have to people may be evolutionary, but we stay with people based on their personality and the "feel good" sense we get from dating.

Kira,
I thought this article was really interesting and it actually reminded me of something I learned in PSYCH 100 last year about why mates stick together in the long run. Basically what scientists have found is that after a while, the dopamine chemical fades and is replaced by vasopressin and oxytocin. These chemicals are associated with long-term monogamous relationships and build attachment between two people. I found a really great article about "How Love Works" that describes the different chemical stages of love in a lot of detail. I thought it was kind of fun to try and figure out what stage I was in! You should try it!

I found this article on the "science behind falling in love":
http://abcnews.go.com/GMA/OnCall/story?id=4147929&page=1#.UFjatZhCefQ
It states that not only does scent attract a potential partner, but also taste! As odd as that may sound, maybe relationships do boil down to the chemistry between two mates first kiss. Apparently, when kissing takes place genes are exchanged through your mouths which can determine whether your genes are two similar to carry a healthy offspring. It is interesting to see all the details behind falling in love and dating that we never think of!

I found this article on the "science behind falling in love":
http://abcnews.go.com/GMA/OnCall/story?id=4147929&page=1#.UFjatZhCefQ
It states that not only does scent attract a potential partner, but also taste! As odd as that may sound, maybe relationships do boil down to the chemistry between two mates first kiss. Apparently, when kissing takes place genes are exchanged through your mouths which can determine whether your genes are two similar to carry a healthy offspring. It is interesting to see all the details behind falling in love and dating that we never think of!

I also found an article on falling in love, and the psychology behind it and what it does to the brain.
But the part that interested me the most was about the Dopamine that gets released. Can you still get that same feeling from friendships? Because when they form, you are finding someone with something in common with you. If so, couldn't someone just find that emotional closeness with friends and instead find a mate for reproductive reasons?
Just something it made me think about.

I thought your blog was pretty cool. I saw an experiment where a few different men wore different types of scents and blind-folded women had to chose which scent they preferred. It was revealed that all the women involved in the experiment seemed to like a "citrus-y" smell on a man. Not to say that all of them preferred this scent, but all of them didn't hate it. A friend of mine had an opinion that cologne on a man isn't used to attract women, but to "seal the deal" when she moves in close. Hmm.. maybe I should wear cologne more often...

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