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We all know how complicated it may be to understand one person person only. When two persons fall in love, things get even more complicated – there are two persons and their interaction to investigate and explain. What are the unique traits and needs of one person? What of another? What is the reaction between the two unique, sensible and intelligent beings? We all know from our personal experience how complicated relationships can be and how complex it is to understand why we fall in love with a certain person, why we hurt the ones we love or why we let them hurt us. God knows it takes a special kind of wisdom, or, at least, an incredible stroke of good luck to have a relationship running smoothly and never get in tug of war of any kind.

WHY do  we do whatever we are doing in love?

Perhaps the one person in the world with the right academic credentials to be trusted on these issues is Helen Fisher (67), an American anthropologist and human behavior researcher for the past three decades. Dr. Helen Fisher’s brilliant CV shows that the issue of relationships has been her subject, one way or another – she earned a BA in Anthropology and Psychology from New York University back in 1968; an MA in Physical Anthropology, Cultural Anthropology, Linguistics, and Archeology from the University of Colorado four years later in 1972, and finally a PhD in Physical Anthropology: Human Evolution, Primatology, Human Sexual Behavior, and Reproductive Strategies from the University of Colorado at Boulder in 1975.

Helen Fisher

In her seminal work, the 2004 book ‘Why We Love: The Nature and Chemistry of Romantic Love’, Dr. Fisher went farther in core explanations of love and attraction than any other researcher before or since.  Her main theory on human attraction proposed in the book is that human brain has three main brain systems that control how we are attracted to the opposite sex – these are lust, defined as primal sex drive, attraction, or that well-known magic in the initial stages of romance and finally attachment, or deep feelings of union with a lifetime partner. Love can be spurred by each of these three systems, but they are rather separate feelings than subdivisions of the same thing. In a word, one type of feeling will not necessarily lead to the next stage.

With more than enough references to study the very nature of attraction and relationships on both biological and psychological levels, Dr. Fisher was the person who could try and answer the tricky questions of love and cheating. Back in 2006 and in 2008 she was the main speaker at the TED conference, and this is where she gave this short, but surely insightful lecture on the eternal mysteries of love:

 

 


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