Love has often been said to test the boundary between science and magic. Now, more than ever, this seems to be mere poetry. It can be said with some admirable clarity that when you’re in love—really, in that “oh this is going to absolutely destroy me when it ends,” heart wrenching love—you feel different. Could that feeling be more chemical and less illusion? Science says yes.
No one precipitates the idea that relationships are damned difficult. Running the maze of obstinate communication, misinterpreted signals and mixed feelings can overwhelm even the most monogamous of the human species, but a clear understanding must be realized: there is much biochemistry at work in a relationship as there is good ol’ fashioned communication and psychology.
A simple tenet of scientific understanding in a relationship is that fact that men and women approach relationship in tentatively simple ways. Men are often more interested in a sense of physical intimacy, whereas women generally seek out a more emotionally grounded foundation. These man come off as crude, twentieth century generalizations, they are grounded in evidence laid down as early as the 1970’s.
Women however are easily more qualified and motivated to be managers of a successful relationship than men. These characteristics, again existing as an outline of a predisposed genetic array do not exist in a vacuum, but are instead backed by evolutionary traits over the history of our species. You can almost certainly discover examples that go against the grain in your own life, but they are the minority, not the majority.
Further evidence has since surfaced that there exists a very real and tangible correlation between romantic love and human evolution. Romantic love has since evolved into a powerful bridge for producing the kind of commitment required for two parents to stay together for a lifetime, thus ensuring the emotional and physical investment required in raising children.
Research into the study of the link between the biochemistry of the brain and how romantic attraction works is fledgling at best—having begun only in the late 1970’s—but is growing exponentially.
There exists a basic hypothesis that who you are attracted to isn’t an issue of cultural appropriation and luck, but careful processing in both the subconscious and even in the alleles of your genome.
For now, we’ll keep swiping right—and left—and hoping for a match.