Evolutionary psychology in dating

Research suggests females can detect MHC type in sweat and for mating purposes seek out males with an immune system that is different from their own, thus ensuring the resulting progeny have strong immune systems.


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In addition, just the right amount of androstadienone — a compound found in testosterone — in axillary odour can cause sexual arousal in females. But you can have too much of a good thing. High levels of testosterone in a male can cause various deficits such as mental retardation and aggressive behaviour. Let's assume for the sake of argument that you are entirely free of parasites and that the chemistry between you and your prospective mate is perfect. With the romance of St Valentine's Day upon us let's continue refining your mating strategy I'm hoping you dress in smart casual clothes that flatter you and give you an appearance of having stamina and being fit, active and healthy, and capable in a sudden emergency — females favour males who pull their weight in a crisis.

Imaginative intelligence is a sexually selected trait, so show yours off and come up with novel locations and activities for your date rather than meeting in a generic wine bar, restaurant or cafe. For something more sedate you could visit a country house and gardens followed by afternoon tea. A trip to the zoo might get her in the mood. Avoid egocentric behaviour on your date. In other words don't do all the talking and don't brag.

Self-aware psycholinguistic heuristic strategies, such as self-deprecation, are sexually selected indicators of intelligence. Put another way, females tend to appreciate subtlety in conversation.

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Make sure you listen to what your date has to say and be interested in her. In general, women talk more than men and they like to feel understood, so try to engage with your date's personality. Most women enjoy emotional intimacy with their female friends and bond more intensively. Some attempt to find a similar depth of emotional intimacy with the men they date but this cannot always be achieved.


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Disappointment over this issue frequently causes relationships to break own. So try to make your potential mate feel that she is special, rather than just another in a long line of dates. But don't show so much interest in the factual details of her life that you become predatory — don't interview her. Similarly, don't gaze at her as though she is a body to have sexual intercourse with. Try to avoid making comments about her physical appearance, even complimentary ones you have seen her photo so she knows you like the way she looks.

If she agrees to see you again you can then begin the compliments and continue with them ad infinitum. You could try something similar, for example if you have nieces or nephews casually let photos of them fall out of your wallet, communicating that you are a male who is good fatherhood material. Male chimps sometimes give meat or fruit to females they wish to mate with, known as "provisioning". So if you see an opportunity to spontaneously provision your date, do so, whether it's an ice cream, candyfloss or a bag of nuts.

Females are usually highly observant so you don't need to be ostentatious about your resources. But it is important to be generous with your time, your humour and your money — be someone with lots to give who enjoys sharing. So if you see a dog while in the company of your date make sure you pat it, if you see birds that can be fed, buy a bun and feed them, if there's a charity box handy shove money in it. Females have a preference for spontaneous altruism in males. Don't let the first date drag on too long.

End on a high note, leaving your prospective mate wanting more of the same so she emails you for a repeat performance. But don't forget, research shows females are adept at discerning between genuine behaviour and insincerity. So, Ian, all you have to do now is make these behavioural strategies real. Wyart, C et al Smelling a single component of male sweat alters levels of cortisol in women.

Historically, women have been pressured by the quantity and quality of external resources and genes they can accrue from their sexual partners to ensure the survival of their offspring. In short-term relationships, they would then seek partners who have good quality genes, are resource-rich, and may potentially be a long-term mate. Physical attributes like facial symmetry, height, and a deeper voice are indicators of good health, while dominance might indicate their high social status. They also prefer men who display traits like benevolence and kindness , which are indicative of good parenting skills.

For men, since they are relatively free of the obligation of minimum parental investment, the challenge is to increase the number of women they mate with, to increase the number of offspring they have. For this, in the short-term, they need to find a large number of sexually accessible, fertile women with as little commitment and investment as possible lower investment would imply more women.

As a result, men also have lower standards than women when it comes to transient relationships, compared to long-term relationships , where both sexes look for a similar higher standard. For instance, when an attractive male and female approach strangers of the opposite sex on a college campus, 50 percent of women and men consented for a date.

Only 6 percent of women, compared to 69 percent of men consented for an invitation to go back to their apartment.

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None of the women agreed to having sex, but 75 percent of the men acquiesced. Women are often also more disgusted by the idea of having sex with strangers as they are more attuned to and prone to sexually transmitted diseases. These trends are evident in what straight men and women look for on Tinder. For instance, men comprise 90 percent of Tinder users in India, which displays their preference for transient relationships. According to Tinder India , women swiped right on men with creative professions like acting, creative writing, entrepreneurs, and photography, but also on marketing managers, architects, and business consultants.

Creativity is a marker of good genes, and hence, women often prefer creative even if poor men in the context of transient relationships.

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On the other hand, for longer term relationships, women prefer traits like dependability and stability, because they often translate to financial stability. For non-binary people, the picture is irresolute. They were also more likely to disclose their preference for casual encounters.

They listed attractiveness as an important trait in their potential partners, and were also likely to reveal their income, and were interested in others who were wealthier. They were also more likely than gay men to emphasise their personality traits at the cost of physical descriptions. They were more likely to seek and rate attractiveness as extremely important in their short-term partners.

However, there is still a long way to go in understanding what non-binary including those who are transgender individuals seek in short and long-term relationships. Such data is unavailable in the context of Indian Tinder, and hence I cannot comment on it. Does all this mean that straight women are money-hungry and straight men are shallow? The explanations provided here and in the evolutionary sciences only explicate why, and not how it should be.

In fact, men or women have no conscious awareness of these processes; these were the best possible solutions to problems faced by our ancestors, who had to ensure that their traits were passed on for the survival of the species. We are only trying to steer our prehistoric brains in a modern world.

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Why You Date Who You Date: Evolutionary Psychology Explains

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