When I google the words ‘books about love’ or ‘tips for love’, I get 2.5 billion results. Wow, is there so much to say about love or are we stuck in a rut when it comes to love?
A few weeks ago, I posted an article titled: ‘5 Anti-Aging tips from a German biologist’. In the post, a PhD biologist, my boyfriend, shared his views as an expert on anti-aging. This sparked the idea to discuss a whole range of topics to get his opinion in his role as biologist as well as a man. Nothing is more interesting than analysing the quarrels of love of celebreties, friends and acquaintances.
A question that has been going round in my mind for a long time is: Can you rationalise love? Even though I’m very romantic and sensitive (I love ‘Gone with the wind’!),at the same time I like writing lists to analyse and structure things. So, I asked my boyfriend biologist, let’s call him Dr Wolle, to work with me on another post to present his view on the Top 5 relationship tips:
1. Find the right partner
Mother Nature wants us to mate with a partner who has significantly different genes to our own. Resonance is created automatically if two people with a highly different gene pool come together. When we look for a partner, we tend to do the wrong thing: We focus on the looks and get seduced by visual appearance. What we really should focus on is whether we can sniff the other person. Humans are mammals, nose geared beings, not eye geared like birds for example. Instead of smelling we look because our society, obsessed with looks, has been misleading us against our natural instincts.
For your first date, Dr Wolle therefore suggests: NO perfume. Perfume clouds like Chanel No 5 or Dior Homme cover our genetic compatability. Don’t get seduced by looks, instead rely on your nose. My boyfriend tells me that on first dates, he consciously took the oppurtunity to smell his first date to find out whether he’s sitting opposite a potential partner. If we are not attracted by the scent of a person, this person is not a match for us. If we can sniff a potential mate as well as being attracted to him, biologically we have found the right partner and made a good choice. The chances to have a loving relationship are good.
2. Sex – exaggerated or not?
Dr Wolle says: “A man loves a woman because she has sex with him. A woman has sex with a man because she loves him”. The essence of this message is as simple as it is shocking: Have sex with your partner regularly and you won’t have any relationship issues. Despite this simple formula, women are failing to stick to it for various reasons: Biologically, women don’t have the same libido as men. Women have sex for these two, evolutionary goals:
- 1. to retain the mate in the early phases of the relationship and
- 2. to procreate.
As soon as the woman accomplished these goals, the libido decreases significantly. Here lies the big issue: Men NEVER lose the urge to have sex, it only ends with their death.
For us women this means to understand and accept that whether her partner is a nerd, an investment banker, a scientist, a royal or a handy man: They are all the same: they all want sex all the time. All self-help books trying to tell us that sex is not everything in a relationship are just trying to comfort us and to spare us the inconvienent truth: Relationships revolve around sex. For women this is a challenge and a balancing act to master this in their relationships. We will deal with this specific issue in a separate post, so watch this space!
3. Two peas in a pod or opposites attract?
Another classic question in a quest to find a successful mate: Do opposites attract or do two similar human beings have better chances of having a romantic, long lasting relationship? What’s my biologist boyfriend’s view on this
He says: Yes, opposites do attract for sure. Stories about polar opposite couples are often thrilling, exciting, chaotic and exhausting. That’s why extremely different couples have less chances of a long term loving relationship compared to couples who have lots in common (think Lizzy Taylor and Richard Burton!).
What does that mean exactly, what are the important things we should have in common with our mate to ensure happiness and longevity of the partnering? Is it the hobbies, the character traits, the social background or the same views on morals and values? Is it beneficial for a relationship to go golfing together, to vote for the same party or to love Italian cuisine?
My boyfriend’s opinion is clear: It’s important for a healthy relationship to have the same set of values and morals rather than sharing the same hobbies and character traits. Common values such as truthfulness, responsibility, reliability, consideration, empathy, helpfulness, solidarity, loyalty, consistency, sustainability, open mindedness and fairness are crucial for a relationship to work out. For Dr Wolle personally, the human side plays a much bigger part than whether his girlfriend reads the same biology books.
In his book ‘Men are from Mars, women are from Venus’, John Gray explains that the rubber band theory ensures men are kept interested in a relationship: Men want closeness but at the same time they need distance. Too much closeness suffocates the love of men. Too much distance (=less sex) will make love fizzle out.
In a relationship, the woman has the role of a film director: Stretch the rubber band as much as possible to let it go in the right moment to make the man bounce back to his wife. It’s an endless circle: Stretch and let go, stretch and let go. Sounds simple enough but still many women, including me, don’t understand this theory and are struggling to implement it in every day life. Why? I think women have the tendency to do too much: Talk too much, analyse too much, organize too much, control too much. Women are like handy men of love, constantly trying to improve their relationships. They are working too much on the closeness but most are not good at keeping the distance when needed
We will finish off with the question of all questions, knock-out argument for every relationship because this is a subject you can’t compromise on. There are lots of issues that can be worked out between partners with compromise, for example long distance relationships. The children question however is non-negotiable. 70% of women would like to have children but not as many men want the same. From whatever angle you look at it, the children question is imperative and has to be talked about early on in the relationship.
If you are a man and you don’t want children, it is advised to discuss this question in the first 6 months of the relationship to spare women the time and emotions she will invest so she can pursue the search for another partner who wants to procreate, just like her.