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Blink 3 of 8 - The 5 AM Club
by Robin Sharma
Strategies of Human Mating
The Evolution of Desire by David M. Buss explores the roots of human desire through evolutionary psychology, uncovering the biological and social factors that shape our romantic and sexual attractions.
Women have long had complex preferences when it comes to choosing mates – preferences that have evolved over time due to changing socioeconomic circumstances.
But let’s start with some basic biology. Women can only reproduce so many times in life, and having a child is a huge commitment that can come with serious consequences. A woman invests her body – along with years of her life – to carry, birth, and nurture just one child.
This makes her extremely valuable to potential mates. But to consider sacrificing her time and her body, women have needed to secure some sort of investment in return – which is often a commitment from her mate.
Centuries ago, it was important for women to have a mate who could ensure their offspring's survivability. This involved both pre-and post-birth factors.
Pre-birth, the health of her potential mate was – and still is – one of the biggest aspects considered. Mating with an unhealthy individual posed a potential threat by exposing the mother and her child to disease. To state the obvious, medicine wasn’t as advanced as it is today, and many children didn’t survive past early childhood. So a mate’s health directly affected the continuation of a bloodline’s reproductive success – the better the genes, the better the chance of survival.
Post-birth factors involved whether the mate was a good provider. Could he provide food and shelter for his family? Would he sacrifice his energy and time into doing so? Finding a reliable provider meant considering multiple characteristics: a man’s physical attributes, social status, athletic skill, emotional stability, and intelligence, among others.
But every woman is unique, and every situation differs. A potential mate who’s extremely valuable to one person might not mean much to another. Some women have focused more on a man’s ability to grow. If he’s reached his peak already, what does he have to offer in the future? Can, and will, he remain committed? Does he have debts or children from previous relationships that will affect his ability to provide?
These preferences weren’t exclusive to Western cultures. They were recognized all across the world, including by cultures that practice polygyny – the practice of having more than one wife.
Many of the same mating preferences have also held true for lesbian women. Throughout history, they’ve looked for good health, kindness, and industriousness in their partners – but have placed a greater importance on honesty and intelligence than heterosexual women.
So how does this psychology of desire relate to modern times, where women can provide for themselves without needing a mate?
Well, Studies show that even when women have access to their own resources and are financially stable, they still prefer a partner who provides some kind of support – whether it’s through money, time, or energy. Human desires are still deeply rooted in our ancestry. We may live in a different environment, but we have the same basic needs and tendencies.
Now it’s time to look at the other end of the spectrum, and analyze the psychology of desire in men.
The Evolution of Desire (1994) drew on the largest study of human mating at the time to analyze the evolutionary foundations that lie behind our everyday desires and mating preferences. It was updated with new material in 2016.
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Blink 3 of 8 - The 5 AM Club
by Robin Sharma