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ducky_dnl's avatar

Do we as humans judge and choose our boyfriends/girlfriends on an animalistic mentality?

Asked by ducky_dnl (5376points) February 7th, 2010

Do We choose are boyfriends/girlfriends like animals do? Do we judge based on looks, scent, how strong they are etc.? Or have we evolved and go basically on personality, wit, etc?

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24 Answers

TehRoflMobile's avatar

Depends on the person. Some people will partner with someone merely for looks or social standing, sex is also a drive. Other people tend to look the personality and traits of a person.

I myself wish I could say that looks don’t matter in a partner, but I’m a guy and they do ;). However I also believe a have to have quite a bit in common with the other person, or just be able to accept them.

eternal_serenity's avatar

@TehRoflMobile I agree. I have to have a lot in common with my partner, but I have to be physically attracted too or it just won’t work

wundayatta's avatar

There’s certainly more to it than we are conscious of. Whether that other stuff is purely chemically driven, or it is driven by non-conscious thinking, I don’t know. I also don’t know the balance, on average, between conscious thinking and unconscious stuff in selecting a partner. I suspect it varies widely.

Your question suggests that it is more “evolved” to make such decisions based on personality instead of looks or wealth or whatever. Think about this—evolution makes mistakes—branches of a species that die out. How can you know that an evolutionary change such that will be better for us?

I suspect we know a whole lot less about relationships and attraction than we think we know. I am not at all opposed to non-conscious factors in these decisions. I don’t think you can calculate relationships.

nikipedia's avatar

Presumably, all of the above. It seems like “scent” certainly plays a role. Women are attracted to the scent of men who have immune systems that are different from theirs (except women who use birth control pills).

lucillelucillelucille's avatar

I would say that it’s a combination-except for Bob.I must have just lost my mind.That’s my story and I’m sticking to it;)

J0E's avatar

I think it differs from person to person, like myself for instance, I put a lot of value in personality. Someone else might only care about looks alone.

MissAnthrope's avatar

I think it’s complicated and is not something that can be easily explained by one factor. People choose for a variety of reasons.

dpworkin's avatar

Are you asking how we choose our mates? It’s highly sophisticated, very much adapted by evolution, and mostly unconscious. Women in particular are discriminant maters and make very careful choices; they are just not always aware how those choices are being made: odor, sound of voice, body morphology, status, age, facial symmetry, strength of grip, shoulder-to-hip ratio, many many more parameters.

eLenaLicious's avatar

I guess it just depends on the person. Each person has different requirements when it comes to choosing a partner.
Humans are supposedly the highest form of animal, but who knows; we could be no better than the rest of the animals.

DrMC's avatar

Woof! – that’s all I have to say.

janbb's avatar

I wonder how much internet dating sites have subverted the whole organic process? By which I mean you often get to know someone intellectually rather than organically first. If you then meet, are the biological factors as strongly in play or have they been subverted by meeting on an intellectual or peronality plane first? It’s an interesting question to me; I wonder if any studies have been done.

DrMC's avatar

@janbb eventually most will breed by mailed genetic material for efficiency sake.

janbb's avatar

@DrMC Probably true and very sad.

Dreday's avatar

I think it shouldn’t matter , but it does. Unfortunatly tv , music videos, movies etc make it harder to choose a partner only on personality… For example ,, you meet a bigger girl say like 170 lbs , she is just amazing , but if all your friends are dating or with bombshells 110 lbs super hot , you kinda don’t wanna be that guy you know ,,,
but I personally think if one makes you happy ,go with it

dpworkin's avatar

That depends on your stage in life. By the time you are my age you realize that the hot ones are just a 12-pack of problems.

wundayatta's avatar

@dpworkin Only if you’ve ever been with one. Nice going, dude! ;-)

dpworkin's avatar

I love my dumpy little middle-aged girlfriend. I don’t even talk to my beautiful ex-wife.

PandoraBoxx's avatar

@ducky_dnl, welcome to Fluther! The answer to your question is, yes. The rules of attraction are based on more than what we think we’re choosing.

The Discovery Channel aired a show called The Science of Sex Appeal which delves into you question, and more. It’s a great program, and I think you will enjoy all of the episodes.

Simone_De_Beauvoir's avatar

@dpworkin hope she never gets to hear you say that IRL…that’s harsh

faye's avatar

@TehRoflMobile As long as you realize that girls have rules, too. So, if you are cozy with your ‘looks matter. I’m a guy’ line, you are realizing that we have all kinds of little standards as well.

dpworkin's avatar

harsh? there’s nothing about her I would ever change, given whatever power.

Simone_De_Beauvoir's avatar

@dpworkin maybe dumpy, to me, has a negative connotation

dpworkin's avatar

She’s 5’4” and a size 16. Beautiful ex-wife is 5’ 11” and is maybe a size 6, with long legs, and the whole deal. She’s the one I feel negatively about. Shawtie is the love of my life.

Simone_De_Beauvoir's avatar

@dpworkin no I get all that…your ex wife is what others typically identify as beautiful…and your current wife isn’t what others typically identify as beautiful…that’s perfectly normal…like I said I just thought saying ‘dumpy’ was not the best way to express how beautiful your current partner truly is

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