Dr. Duana Welch (@duanawelch), author of Love Factually: 10 Proven Steps from I Wish to I Do, rejoins us to explain how men can enter, exit, and recover from relationships in a way that benefits them…all based on science.
“Love at first sight isn’t a decision.” -Dr. Duana Welch
The Cheat Sheet:
- Is “love at first sight” a real thing? Science has the surprising answer.
- Women have shaped men psychologically over the course of evolutionary history.
- How do mating strategies differ between men and women?
- Learn the best predictors for whether your partner will cheat or be faithful.
- What (specifically) should you say to someone you need to break up with?
- And so much more…
Most men believe the cultural stereotypes that women are more emotional, and that women benefit more than men do in relationships. Knowing what male mating psychology is really like — how emotional men are, and what kinds of vulnerabilities and special challenges this creates for guys — can help men to make better choices in the thing science indicates really does make or break lifetime happiness: mate choice.
Dr. Duana Welch, author of Love Factually: 10 Proven Steps from I Wish to I Do rejoins us on episode 492 of The Art of Charm to dispel some prevailing relationship myths, help men understand the fact that they’re more emotional than women when in relationships, discover how women have shaped men’s psychobiology to make that happen, and use science to benefit men who are entering, exiting, and recovering from relationships. And if you missed Dr. Welch’s last visit, you should also check out episode 459!
More About This Show
The emotions generated by relationships — whether pursuing them, maintaining them, or disengaging and recovering from them — can be powerful enough to make us ignore and defy reason entirely. With this in mind, we begin to understand why the scientific approach to studying relationships, as practiced by Dr. Duana Welch — author of Love Factually: 10 Proven Steps from I Wish to I Do — is so important.
In evaluating what we think we know about human relationships against actual scientific data, we begin to unravel some long-standing stereotypes that have led to generations of misunderstandings and bogus problems coupled with faulty solutions. For instance, when a male-female couple breaks up, do you assume it’s the woman who takes it harder, or the man?
“I was surprised to conclude — along with other scientists — that men are more emotional than women,” says Duana. “Because the stereotype about men is so contrary to that. The stereotype is that men are more rational, more logical, more calculating in some ways, and the science actually goes directly against that.”
What about the notion of “love at first sight?” It must be some Hallmark-invented convenience designed to sell more cards and chocolates, right? As it turns out, love at first sight is supported by science. And lest you think we’re confusing love with lust, Duana has this to say:
“Scientists define passionate love as the yearning or longing for total union with another, and it’s an obsessive quality where you’re thinking about this person all the time. There’s actually a passionate love scale which has been validated and tested in numerous cultures and societies including our own and it shows very clearly that most of the things that people think of when they think of passionate love actually aren’t sexual.”
Also: this phenomenon more commonly happens in men.
Some other interesting, science-supported factoids Duana shares with us:
- In relationships, men tend to say “I love you” first.
- Men tend to fall in love faster and harder.
- At every stage, men are less likely to end a relationship. It’s common for men to stay in a miserable situation, sometimes for many years, until the woman finally ends things.
As we see in the animal kingdom, natural selection provides each individual of each new generation with its own adaptations to survive, ensuring they get passed along to the next batch born. Mating preferences play an obvious part in what gets passed along and what gets left behind, and Duana says this has held true for humans, too. Because of this, the psychology of men has changed as a direct result of what behavior is most appealing to potential mates.
“Women really value what I call the two Ps: Provision and protection,” she says. “And they can see your ability to provide and protect on a balance sheet…but what they can’t tell from the balance sheet and access to looking at your resources is whether you’re going to stick in and actually do it.
“50,000 years ago, when humans were living in hunter-gatherer tribes of maybe 120 people, all women were gamblers back then. They were gambling that if they had sex with a guy that he was going to stick around and provide for them because, unlike today where I have a PhD and I can support myself and if I got pregnant accidentally I would freak out, but it wouldn’t be the end of my life, in all likelihood, back then it really could be. So the women whose psychology got carried forward were the women who were picky. And they weren’t just picky about whether a man had resources — they were picky about whether he would share those resources.”
How did she know if he would share those resources? She looked for signs of commitment (which women are still using today) that often amount to signs of love — for instance, when he would say he loves her without being prompted.
“Because women have very strongly valued men for providing cues of commitment…this has, over millennia, shaped men to offer cues of commitment more and more rapidly,” says Duana.
Listen to this episode of The Art of Charm to learn why looking at peacocks made Charles Darwin sick to his stomach, how a lot of our mating psychology doesn’t make sense in the same context today as it would have 50,000 years ago, why a woman might be more choosy about a casual sex partner than she is about a husband, how some guys can’t stop women from throwing themselves at them (and why they would ever complain about such a problem), what the Sexy son hypothesis is, how men and women cheat differently, and lots more.
THANKS, DR. DUANA WELCH!
Resources from this episode:
- Love Factually by Duana Welch
- Duana Welch | Science-Based Dating (Episode 459) (Dr. Welch’s previous appearance on The Art of Charm)
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