Why we choose the way we do

<p>Unraveling the Mystery of Romantic Attraction</p>

<p>I contend that there is a certain bio-logic to courtship behavior. I’m basically saying we instinctively select mates who will enhance the survival of the species. Men are drawn to classically beautiful women - ones with clear skin, bright eyes, shiny hair, good bone structure, red lips, and rosy cheeks - not because of fad or fashion but because these qualities indicate youth a and robust health, signs that a woman is in the peak of her childbearing years. Women select mates for slightly different biological reasons. Because youth and physical health aren't essential to the male reproductive role, women instinctively favor mates with pronounced "alpha" qualities, the ability to dominate other males and bring home more than their share of the kill. The assumption is that male dominance ensures the survival of the family group more than youth or beauty. Thus a fifty-year-old chairman of the board - the human equivalent of the silver-backed male gorilla - is as attractive to women as a young, handsome, virile, but less successful male. Whether we like it or not, a woman's youth and physical appearance and a man's power and social status do play a role in mate selection. But even though biological factors play a key role in our amorous advances, there's got to be more to love than this. Another idea is that we select mates who are more or less our equals. When we are on a search-and-find mission for a partner, we size each other up as coolly as business executives contemplating a merger, noting each other's physical appeal, financial status, and social rank, as well as various personality traits such as kindness, creativity, and a sense of humor. With computer like speed, we tally up each other's scores, and if the numbers are roughly equivalent, the trading bell rings and the bidding begins. With this idea it’s just youth, beauty, and social rank that interest us, but the whole person. For example, the fact that a woman is past her prime or that a man has a low-status job can be offset by the fact that he or she is a charming, intelligent, compassionate person. Moreover another important factor in mate selection is the way a potential suitor enhances our self-esteem. Each of us has a mask, a facade, which is the face that we show to other people. This idea suggests that we select a mate who will enhance this self-image. The question here is: "What will it do to my sense of self if I am seen with this person?" . We have all experienced some pride and perhaps some embarrassment because of the way we believe our mates are perceived by others; it does indeed matter to us what others think. Furthermore those few individuals that people are attracted to tend to resemble one another quite closely. </p>

<p>How Does Romanticism Evolve?</p>

<p>Also projection in romantic attraction works like any other projection only this time there is a charge that makes it almost impossible to resist. I think what draws a person into the projection are qualities present in the other but as yet unrecognized in oneself. One is “hooked” but it often falls on his or her own ideals. A well accepted concept is that one is attracted to one's opposite. In any relationship over time this may become difficult terrain to navigate. I personally think the very qualities which once attracted both people become the qualities that carry the most conflict. For example, a man once drawn to his wife’s warmth, generosity of spirit, easy sociability may over time find these qualities loud seeming, overly intrusive, and even shallow. The qualities have not changed, but the way the way the partner perceives them has. Likewise, a woman once attracted to what seemed the strong, capable, and comforting presence of her partner grows to redefine these qualities as controlling, bullying and withholding. Again, the qualities have not changed but the perception of them has. I think these qualities are being seen more realistically once the projection begins to drop. It is not always just a case of projection. Sometimes these are actual truths about the person's behavior. I also think what accounts for this is a confusion about individual boundaries. The two people who once viewed themselves as exact opposites have become so entangled that their identities have begun to "fuse" beneath the surface. Each of them, carries and expresses for the other disavowed aspects of that other’s self – his or her inner being. Thus, an entire division of labor ensues with each partner carrying a part of but not the whole emotional repertoire of the other. Instead of two unique identities, you have one fused identity, often in conflict with itself. Mostly likely each is fighting over that part of him or herself that the other has claimed. In order for each to live their full individual identity there must be at least an attempt to withdraw the projections. Each partner, however, has to face the question: whether or not this is a risk worth taking. Withdrawing the projections will almost inevitably change nature of the relationship. Either each will discover, as if for the first time, who the other truly is and love will flourish. Or, one or both partners will feel unable to continue without being haunted by the old projections and the relationship will falter. </p>

<p>VERY IMPORTANT SIDENOTE: In my opinion the root of a idealized notion of love, which is a western concept almost entirely, is one of entranced embellishment and hidden confusion. It is the prime cause of distress in close, committed relationship and causes a basic confusion about exactly what is going on inside one’s own head and what is going on inside the other.</p>