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The Chemistry of Romance
by Rajgopal Nidamboor Bookmark and Share


In the recent past, researchers have analyzed attraction and romantic love with great interest. Their studies have given valuable insights into the nature of romantic attraction ' that there is a certain "bio+logic" element to courtship, something that assures the survival of our species. 

Here's more on the fascinating impulse.

It is often said that men are drawn to naturally beautiful and hale and hearty women who also have dazzling physical attributes. At the same time, women, it is said, select males for different biological reasons. They seem to choose mates with "alpha" qualities.

What does 'alpha' quality signify, you may well ask. It is the capacity to rule other males and bring home the largest part of the 'kill.' To draw a metaphor ' an older business executive is as eye-catching to women as a young and good-looking, but less thriving, male.

Psychologists have long explored as to what is popularly known as the "exchange" theory of mate selection. Men, they often say, select mates who are more or less their equals. You often look for potential partners on the foundation of history, like background, monetary status, bodily allure, community status and individuality merits; don't you?

Some experts also relate to another idea, the "persona" theory. It relates to how a likely suitor improves our self-esteem ' which is also a significant feature in mate choice. 

Most people tend to have two faces. According to the 'persona' theory we tend to go for a companion who will improve our self-image. There is also reason enough for us to believe in the idea. Is it not a part of our collective experience ' for some of us, at least ' to be 'dented' in our own self-esteem at some point in time, or the behavior of others around us?

The three theories are not all-encompassing; they are only indicative. Which brings us, again, to the million-rupee question: what makes for the power of romantic love? Or, why do so many couples have balancing qualities? The more intensely we come across the idea of romantic attraction, the more imperfect our theories seem to be. Otherwise, how can you not explain for the emotional damage the disintegration of a relationship can cause to either party?

It may also be said that the idea of attraction we have, so far, examined only implies that a failed romance may often lead one into another cycle of mate selection. You have seen this happen to you, or someone else you know. It is all part of the enterprise called love, or a relationship that you would want to grow and live with for the rest of your life ' if only the other person is willing.

We all need to, of course, acknowledge the fact that there is a mystifying element to romantic attraction. Just think of your own example. You'd have met scores of people; many of them were physically attractive enough or flourishing monetarily to grab your attention. 

Now ' as you slowly filter the field, you will be able to remember just a handful of people from the group, who would have provided you "face value" equal to or superior than your own!. Which only gives substance to the theory ' that most of us are, or have been, deeply attracted to just a few individuals.

The best part ' the very few that you have been fascinated with would bear a resemblance to one another reasonably and directly. 

Now, think about the personality traits of people you'd have genuinely thought as being good, prospective mates. 

When you make a 'register' of their principal individual qualities, you would only be amused to notice more than a load of parallels, and, more amazingly, enough not-so-positive characteristics.

So, how does this information add to our understanding of romantic attraction, you may well ask. Answer: we seem to be highly selective in our choice of mates. In fact, we appear to be searching for the "one and only" with a very specific set of positive and negative traits. 

This is what that surprisingly connects us to what we tried frantically to achieve ' to live life fully, while instinctively being hopeful to grasp at the 'face of happiness' we began to see in the person we were first attracted to!

Get the idea!     

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22-Jan-2006
More by :  Rajgopal Nidamboor
 
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