Monday, February 2, 2009

The Biology of Dating


I found Linda Fay Powell's painting i bought in Longsight, Manchester, 14 years ago with my notion of finding Mr Right written down on it: -

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A woman wants the man in her life to be: -

1. A true equal

2. Someone who respects her strength

3. Someone who treats her weakness with kindness and expects her to do the same for him

In short, she wants: -

1. A friend

2. A lover

3. A partner

who understands her....

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Shish...are those traits THAT difficult to find in a man for the past 2 decades since I am still single and available? (hehehehhehe...I might be the one having the wrong traits).
I came across this article on TIME.com - The Biology of Dating: Why Him, Why Her? based on an interview with Helen Fisher, a biological anthropologist, who recently published a book called "Why Him, Why her : Finding Real Love by Understanding Your Personality Type". Trained as a biochemist, i found this new idea of finding THE ONE so appealing.

Basically, there are 2 parts of personality - 1. character, which is everything you grew up to believe, do and think, and 2. temperament, which is your inherited traits. Ms Fisher's book looks into the latter's role of biology in mate selection.

She breaks down people into 4 temperaments, based on certain brain chemicals (which ranges from one individual to another) and associates each temperament with distinctive traits - namely: -

1. People who express dopamine (commonly associated with the pleasure system of the brain) are called Explorers, who tend to be risk-takers, curious, creative, impulsive, optimistic and energetic.

2. People who express serotonin (molecule of happiness) are known as Builders for they are cautious yet not fearful, calm, traditional, community-oriented, persistent and loyal.

3. People with testosterone (plays a key role in health and well-being) expression are Directors, who tend to be very analytical, decisive, tough-minded, like to debate and can be aggressive.

4. People who express estrogen (significantly higher in female, this hormone, amongst others, regulates production of stress hormone (cortisol) and structural developments) are Negotiators who are broadminded, imaginative, compassionate, intuitive, verbal, nurturing, altruistic and idealistic.

Sometimes, people could be a combination of 2 temperaments.

This concept could work both ways - it could either be of "birds of same feather flock together" (so they can pursue the same passion and values) or "the opposite attracts" (for instance, an explorer, brought up by explorer's parents, will find a sense of stability in conscientious Builder).

For an accurate temperament test (via blood test), you have to be drug-free as anabolic steroids, Ritalin and Prozac (read:depression), (cocaine) etc. could alter your brain chemistry.

So, how do you know whether he or she is THE ONE? By identifying him/her with certain temperament, we could reach out to him/her easily as you share the same idea of intimacy and outlooks on life.

What if you have found THE ONE and have settled down? This test allows you to understand where the pitfalls are going to be and how to avoid them.

Ms Fisher throws a word of caution though for those who wanted to fall in love - get off drugs before you fall in love and marry the person after that very early intense stage of love has worn off (i can say at least 6 months - 2 cycles of crush elimination). Timing and proximity is also vital in mate selection (so, where art thou my dear?).

For the fun of this, you may want to try it. I wont buy the book because reading it surely tensed me up (macam nak ambik periksa je;P) hehehhe and that is definitely not good for my brain chemicals.

p.s. I think I'm Miss Explorer and Negotiator.

2 comments:

WanHidayat said...

Salam and Morning akak.....

I'm dopamine and testosterone...I guess...hahahaha...

Errrmmm...I have to have personal doc to identify those temperaments OR by getting into ppl's characters...

I want to find people who can loves me wholeheartedly...possible??? and for sure I will return the same...

Fi-sha said...

Dear Hidayat,

Seek and you shall find my dear (hehehhe i havent been looking i guess)

Possible (KITA BOLEH hehehhe) to find one who love us wholeheartedly but in this twisted complex world, we could be blinded by many gestures and facades. So, perhaps we should follow our instincts in our journey to find THE ONE...