Do You Really Like Him Or Was It The Sex? 14 Fun Facts You Should Know About Evolution And Love

December 14, 2012  |  
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You’d like to think you’re pretty rational, right? That you’re in control of your future, isn’t that correct? Well you are, and you aren’t. There’s a reason so much of what feels really good—dating the wrong guy, sleeping with someone—are also things we know we shouldn’t do. Our genes are only concerned with one thing: being perpetuated. That’s where the, “Do it” voice comes into play. But, the fact that you can recognize why something that feels good is in fact not good for you—that is what makes you a logical creature. So don’t worry, you’re not totally a mass of uncontrollable hormones and chemicals. But in order to control them, you have to know about them.

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Love looks like madness

The term “madly in love” wasn’t just penned by Shakespeare. Researchers have found that many of the neurological behaviors present in the mind of a mentally ill person, are also present in the mind of a newly in love one. Aren’t you obsessively checking your phone? Don’t you feel unstable, as if one ambiguously worded text from him could send you into a crying fit? So are the mentally ill. In other words: don’t trust your own thoughts too much when newly in love.

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Love is similar to drug addiction

Scientists have also discovered that many of the chemical secretions you experience when with your loved one are similar to those a drug addict experiences when getting his fix. That’s why breakups can feel like they handicap you—you’re suffering from withdrawal. That’s something to keep in mind when weaning yourself off of a guy who was no good for you: you’re suffering from withdrawal from him, and that’s a necessary process for detaching from something unhealthy.

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Infatuation lasts two years

That feeling of addiction and madness has been found to last about two years, approximately how long it would have taken our great, great ancestors to produce and wean a child. You evolved to remain bonded to your partner long enough to care about this joint project of raising a baby. So, if you’re considering marrying someone you’ve been with for less than two years, think again. At day 730, you might wake up and feel nothing about that man next to you.

Woman mad in bed

Evolution doesn’t care if he’s good for you

Keep in mind, evolution has yet to catch up with the concept of unhealthy relationships, and relationships that last much longer than two years. Your body wants you to be with the handsome yet rebellious guy because his physique is an indication of good genes and his raging testosterone is an indication of a good protector. Your genes don’t care that he doesn’t cuddle you enough, that he cheats or that he talks down to you. So don’t listen to your genes. They don’t have your best interests at heart.

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There’s a reason men like Barbie’s

You’re not going to like this part but men have evolved to like small waists, big breasts, and shapely thighs. Why? Because (to put it in modern terms) T+A are an indication of fertility.

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But, our genes are changing their minds

The reason men like Barbie and women like Ken is because at one time, brawn and good health were all that were necessary to produce a healthy child, and raise it. The strongest man had the biggest cave, end of story. Today, as you know, the most lucrative jobs are those of the mind—computer programmers, CPA’s, lawyers. And, who was ignored on the playground as a child that he/she was forced to hit the books and cultivate an intelligent mind and charming personality, just so someone would like them? The not-Barbie-looking types. So, if you’re sitting there saying, “But I like short, dark guys with a beer belly!” well, good for you: your evolutionary instincts might be evolving to suit this modern world.

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You attach after orgasm

Perhaps as a way of making you attach to the person you might reproduce with, therein guaranteeing better protection for that offspring, evolution played a nasty trick on women everywhere: when you orgasm, chemicals are released in your body that make you feel more trusting of and more emotionally bonded to the person that gave you that orgasm. That’s why it feels so awful when a one-night-stand never calls again. And that’s why, whether you like it or not, as a woman you should be selective of who you take to bed.

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Handsome men give you the big O

Another superficial trait of evolution: good-looking people have the most babies. And that is because a woman is much more likely to become pregnant if she has an orgasm during intercourse, and handsome men have a higher rate of giving women orgasms. The evolutionary push behind that is this: symmetrical facial features have a positive correlation with a wide gene pool, and therefore a healthier gene pool. You evolved to understand, “Symmetrical face means healthier babies.” More importantly, your body evolved to understand that, and is more likely to orgasm with a “handsome” man.

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Even if you were blind, you’d still like handsome men

One study had thousands of women sniff the t-shirts of two respective men—one with a symmetrical face, and one not. The women never saw these men. But over 80% of the women preferred the scent of the t-shirt belonging to the man with symmetrical facial features. His particular genes affected the scent he produced, and the female body even understood that. But, again, evolution is starting to catch up to modern times. Sure, women liked the scent of the man they couldn’t even see, but if you’ve learned to like the intelligent and charismatic man, even if he were the one with the less-preferred t-shirt, he could be the one to give you the Big O. You’d just have to hang out with him first.

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Men do get jealous!

Don’t let men tell you that only women get jealous. Jealousy is a trait that evolved in both men and women and for good reason. When men and women used to mate solely for the purpose of reproduction, a man had to keep a close eye on a female to ensure that nobody else got near her. If another male did, it made the original male unsure of the real father of that baby growing inside the female. And that made the male uncertain whether or not he should be the one expending his resources on raising that baby. The men that kept a closer eye on their women were the ones most certain to know they were the fathers, and therein guarantee a healthy upbringing of their child. And so, jealousy evolved.

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Women get jealous for a good reason

There are only so many resources to go around! Women also had to keep a close eye on their men, but for an even longer time (i.e. forever). If the father of one woman’s child impregnated another woman, then the two women had to split the resources and time of that father, therein giving each of their children less of a chance of surviving. So, the woman that kept a close eye on her man had the most resources for her child. Of course, a man can impregnate a woman anytime he wants, meaning women have to keep an eye out forever!

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We gossip to keep ourselves safe

Don’t feel too guilty over gossiping with your friends about that one slory girl in your group, or about the player that’s slept with everyone. We have to care what other people are up to. Out of our great ancestors, those with the greatest memory, both of what other people did and what other people looked like, had a greater chance of survival. Those with the cognitive ability to keep track of who “played by the rules” (didn’t steal, reciprocated favors, were faithful) were more likely to engage in beneficial relationships—relationships with men that would in fact protect their children, or with friends that would in fact return the papayas they gave them.

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Lasting love can exist

Don’t find these facts depressing: find them empowering. Know that the guy you suddenly didn’t love after two years was a guy you weren’t supposed to be with. Know that you didn’t really love that guy you slept with one time—your body just told you that you did because you orgasmed. If you can be aware of how evolution affects the way you act and feel you can control it. Which is why lasting love can exist: if you learn to hush your hormones, and be mentally present, noticing that a man is kind, giving, intelligent, gentle, charismatic (all those traits that evolution doesn’t care about) then you can select a partner that will give you happiness, long after the two year, chemical-heavy infatuation phase ends. But, you have to work daily to be conscious and ask yourself, “Is this me talking? Or is it evolution?”

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In fact, those that love, survive

Long lasting love is healthy! Studies have found that those in healthy relationships have stronger immune systems, longer life spans, and lower stress, meaning lower risk of heart issues and a whole other slew of health concerns. So don’t give up on finding last love, thinking that evolution doesn’t want that of you. Evolution favors anything that is healthy for your body, and that’s what love is.

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