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  • midlifelove 10:51 pm on July 10, 2009 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: boxing, david lieberman, direct approach, frustration attraction, hard to get, helen fisher, human behaviour, , phenomenon, pushover   

    Tip No 2 For Attracting Love 

    Hang Around Lots… but Then Be Unavailable
    flirtLanding your love means finding the right balance between being available and not being a “pushover”. That does not mean you should play “Hard to Get” however. This age-old advice is not supported by five academic studies, all of which found that this strategy does not work. Women are less impressed with this ploy than men, but even men don’t like it.

    A global study ‘Real People, Real Answers, Real Stories’ found that over 50% of men wouldn’t  approach a woman if there was no sign of interest from them and that fear of rejection was the main reason they wouldn’t approach. In reality most men would rather do twenty rounds in a boxing ring than risk being rejected by you.

    Romance expert Dr Helen Fisher says the only way playing hard to get works is to intensify feelings of romantic love, creating “frustration attraction” because the brain pathways associated with pleasure, energy, focus and motivation keep working when a reward is delayed.

    The secret is, you play “hard to get” with everyone except the object of your desire. . .

    I Have Eyes Only for You

    Scientists call this phenomenon ‘selective difficulty’. We’re attracted to people who play hard to get for everyone, except us, with 96% of men preferring the direct approach.

    The theory of ‘selective difficulty’ was tested using a version of online dating. Three women were given their online matches. One was keen to meet all of her dates, the second played hard to get and rejected all the men and the third showed interest in only one man. 100% of the male participants in the study preferred the woman that was only interested in them.

    Get to Know Him/Her

    The more you interact with someone, the more they’ll like you, says David Lieberman, a U.S. expert in human behaviour.

    Several studies show repeated exposure to practically any stimulus makes us like it more (the only time it doesn’t hold true is if our initial reaction to it is negative). So forget about being aloof, evasive, and unavailable in the beginning. Instead, find lots of excuses to spend time with him or her.

    Then just when you’re convinced you’ve won them over and they like you, start being a little less available. And then even less, until they hardly see you at all. You’ve now effectively instigated the “law of scarcity.” Be around and then not around and they’ll want and like you.

  • midlifelove 1:35 am on July 2, 2009 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: camilla, charles, chemistry.com, cuddle, diana, , edward VIII, emotional, fickle, gene pitney, helen fisher, lies, , neurochemical, , oxytoxin, romantic love, , samantha, sex in the city, shakespeare, wallis simpson   

    Lust, Love and the Science of Intimacy 

    “Practically all the relationships I know are based on a foundation of lies and mutually accepted delusion.” Samantha
    in Sex in The City


    “It’s a very fickle situation, love,” Dr Helen Fisher, research professor and expert on romantic love

    Did you feel disappointed with Charles dissed Diana for Camilla? Are you still dreaming Brad and Jen will get back together?  And what was it with Edward VIII and Wallis Simpson that was worth giving up a throne for?

    Whether these famous lovers were in love, in lust, affectionate attachment or a mix and match of all three, it seems it’s true as Shakespeare and Gene Pitney agree; “true love never runs smooth.”

    The Three Faces of Love

    That’s because – according to brain imaging research over the last decade – Mother Nature has set up three distinct but complementary emotion-motivation systems in the brain for mating, reproduction and parenting, each one driven by different brain chemicals and hormones.

    Dr Helen Fisher, an expert on the chemistry of love, says if you’re in a relationship it’s likely you’ll be in one of three stages of love, reflecting the dominant neurochemical at work.  You can be in lust, ‘in love’ or in romantic attachment – or a mix of all three mating states – either with the same person or several people at the same time.


    If you’re in lust your sex drive or libido is in top gear, driven by estrogens and androgens. Nature’s purpose? To motivate you to locate any appropriate mating partner.

    In Love

    Accelerate to the starry-eyed stage of romantic attraction – also called or infatuation, or limerance – fuelled by increased levels of dopamine and norepinephrine – and you’re fixating on a specific partner. Your chemistry is telling you he or she is “the one”, conserving mating time and energy, and forming bonds which will last long enough (hopefully) to carry you into shared parenthood.


    Fast forward about 18 months (on average) and you’re either going cold on the whole thing or moving into attachment – also called companionate love. Your body has exhausted the dopamine, and the mad buzz of first love has slowed a little.

    Warmed by the “cuddle hormone” oxytocin, you’ll be engaged nesting, mutual territory defence, feeding and grooming, sharing feelings of calm, security, social comfort and emotional union.  Nature’s focus, says Dr Fisher, is to “enable you to tolerate this person, at least long enough to raise a child as a team.”

    Charles and Diana, Brad and Jen

    So could Charles and Brad feel companionate love for Diana and Jen while lusting after Camilla and Angelina? Can Diana love Charles at the same time as she is conducting an affair with James Gilbey?  In theory, absolutely, says Dr Fisher. The science of intimacy can be a very complicated thing – or to put it in another way – the neurochemical pathways of our driven nature often overlap.

    “I think that these brain systems are big mix-and-match systems,” says the Rutgers University prof, who is scientific adviser on matchmaking site Chemistry.com

    That’s how it’s possible to “swing easily from one to the other, even lie in bed and feel deep attachment to one person and feel madly in love with someone else. It’s a very fickle situation, love.”

  • midlifelove 5:22 am on June 14, 2009 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: albert eintein, , chemical, , , endeavours, helen fisher, linked, love wins, lucy brown, , move, mri, prairie voles, pursuit, , , , ,   

    Is Love More Powerful than Sex? 

    Sex and romance may seem inextricably linked, but the human brain clearly distinguishes between the two, according to a new study. The upshot: Love is the more powerful emotion.

    The results of brain scans speak to longstanding questions of whether the pursuit of love and sex are different emotional endeavours or whether romance is just warmed over sexual arousal.

    “Our findings show that the brain areas activated when someone looks at a photo of their beloved only partially overlap with the brain regions associated with sexual arousal,” said Arthur Aron of the State University of New York-Stony Brook. “Sex and romantic love involve quite different brain systems.”

    Left side, right side

    The study was small, however, involving 17 young men and women, all of whom had recently fallen madly in love. They filled out questionnaires while their brains were hooked up to a functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI) system.

    Romance seems to steep in parts of the brain that are rich in dopamine, a chemical known to affect emotions. These brain regions are also linked by other studies to the motivation for rewards.

    “To our surprise, the activation regions associated with intense romantic love were mostly on the right side of the brain, while the activation regions associated with facial attractiveness were mostly on the left,” said Lucy Brown of the Albert Einstein College of Medicine.

    The study also revealed that as a romance matures, so does the mind.

    “We found several brain areas where the strength of neural activity changed with the length of the romance,” Brown said. “Everyone knows that relationships are dynamic over time, but we are beginning to track what happens in the brain as a love relationship matures.”


    Love wins

    The processing of romantic feelings involves a “constellation of neural systems.” The researchers — neuroscientists, anthropologists and social psychologists — declare love the clear winner versus sex in terms of its power over the human mind.

    “Romantic love is one of the most powerful of all human experiences,” said study member Helen Fisher, an anthropologist at Rutgers University. “It is definitely more powerful than the sex drive.”

    Animals, too

    There are hints in the study that romance is not a uniquely human trait.

    Some of the changes seen with mature romances were in regions of the brain also associated with pair-bonding in prairie voles. Other studies have found that expressions of attraction in a female prairie vole are linked to a 50 percent hike in dopamine activity in the brain region that corresponds to the location where human romance is processed.

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