- 10 Fascinating Facts About the Evolution of Dating and Courtship
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- Evolutionary psychology online dating - Cape Town Fringe
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Now before anyone charges evolutionary psychology of accusing women as mere gold-diggers and men as concerned only with the physical appearance of their mates, note that these speculations were not formed based on what seems instinctively right and observable in common scenarios, but are in fact grounded in research.
One of the many studies that support how evolutionary psychology explains the mate selection process in humans is that of Buss and Barnes. Their research asked married couples how much importance they placed on certain characteristics when it came to choosing who they married.
10 Fascinating Facts About the Evolution of Dating and Courtship
However, as consistent as these findings are in many other studies across different cultures, it is important to recognize the limitations of these results, as well as other considerations involved in this theory. We are living in a modern society where our needs are no longer as primitive as what our ancestors may have had in ancient times when they were still living in the wild. Therefore, our evolutionary needs and tendencies may be less likely to influence our present behavior and choices, especially in terms of mate selection.
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For instance, psychology professor Jerry M. What evolutionary psychology explains is possibly more about attraction than about love.
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Although in many instances, attraction may very well be the spark that first ignites the possibility for a deeper emotion to develop later down the road, the fact stands that mere attraction is not the same as love. And as many people would concur, attraction is definitely not the sole deciding factor in selecting the person to marry and have children with. Additionally, what evolutionary psychology can explain when it comes to dating behavior and mate selection should not be used as basis to excuse behaviors such as infidelity in a relationship.
When it comes down to it, as humans, the true forces that move us to love the people we love and marry the people we marry are more than just instincts ingrained by the evolutionary process or inspired by any biological need. The nature of deep, moving love—the kind that marks and defines a lifetime—is most probably metaphysical and transcendental, maybe even divine. Sign up for the Thought Catalog Weekly and get the best stories from the week to your inbox every Friday.
The researchers found that about 1 in 2 respondents admitted it was hard to either start or maintain a relationship. What's more, 1 in 5 said they experienced difficulties in both starting and maintaining relationships.
Evolutionary psychology online dating - Cape Town Fringe
From an evolutionary perspective, it seems counterintuitive that a behavior as important as mating would prove so challenging for so many individuals. But the reasons may be rooted in a social science phenomenon known as the "mismatch problem," Apostolou told Live Science.
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Though humans are generally skilled at adapting to new conditions, it can take many generations to dramatically alter our behavior , he said. So, by the time humans properly adapt to one set of new conditions, their environment may have already changed significantly, in ways that they're not prepared for.
For modern daters, the social and technological advances of the last years may be a greater amount of change than humans are equipped to deal with, Apostolou said. One trait that may have better served arranged courtship is introversion, a personality type marked by shyness in social settings and that may apply to roughly 20 percent of the population. Today, of course, most people date based on personal preference and seek their own mates for themselves.
In this context, social shyness can be debilitating to romantic success, and it is not a behavior easily changed, Apostolou said.