Through a crowded room, you find each other attracted to each other and sparks fly. You get close to each other and you realize that she smells and feels like the woman you want. You start dating and have a one-night stand. The next morning, or the next week, or the next month, when both parties are looking their best, you still have this question in your mind: Does she just want to have a one-night stand with me?
It’s a good question, but if you really want to seriously consider this, then it’s best not to think about it in bed. Because you will be at the mercy of her oxytocin, your testosterone, and dopamine. Oxytocin is the hormone that can facilitate the building of a mutual bond and attachment. The body releases oxytocin during orgasm, which is why it’s hard for men and women who just want a one-night stand to stay in a purely sexual relationship; oxytocin can prevent you from making sound decisions. Even if you don’t reach orgasm, the physical pleasure will stimulate oxytocin production. Oxytocin makes you feel great, but it can hinder your judgment because it stops the fear response in your brain.
To assess the effect of oxytocin on the decision-making process, researchers at the University of Zurich, Switzerland, designed an experiment. The researchers asked volunteers to participate in a trust game involving money.
Volunteers were given some money, which they could choose to either enjoy alone or to share. If they shared it with someone, the amount of money was increased by a factor of two. However, the goal of this experiment is not to study investment behavior, but about human trust and rational decision-making. You will find that when one party shares with the other, i.e., after “investing” money in another party, the other party actually has two choices: he can either betray the other party’s trust and leave all the money, or he can share with the other party.
During the experiment, both groups of investors were told that the other party would leave all the money behind. After learning of the other’s betrayal, the participants who took the placebo were less willing to continue sharing money with each other; the researchers gave the other group of participants some nasal spray made of oxytocin, and this group was willing to continue sharing money with each other, despite their betrayal, but they were still willing to trust each other as they had before.
You might think that the group that inhaled oxytocin was really stupid. During the experiment, scientists monitored the participants’ brains and found that the amygdala was less active in the brain of the group that inhaled oxytocin. And the amygdala is responsible for managing a person’s fear.
Oxytocin can cause you to make bad decisions that will not only “hurt” your wallet, but also your heart. When you’re in the first stage of attraction, you’re exposed to a lot of hormones, which can lead you to what’s known in psychology as limerence. You may not have heard of the term, but you certainly know what it feels like. It’s the feeling of falling in love, that is, you are thinking about each other all the time. It will also make you not eat, drink or sleep. But you will also feel pleasure and ecstasy, and will be more excited and aroused, full of sexual desire.
During the infatuation period, you will ignore many signs that are worth being alert to. You can understand it this way: In the movie Fatal Attraction, if Michael Douglas’ Dan had been aware that he was in a period of infatuation and that his behavior and decisions were influenced by hormones, he would not have had an affair with Glenn Close’s Alex. Alex wouldn’t have cooked the bunny on the stove at all.
When you’re in an obsession, you think your decisions are rational and logical. But that’s not the case. So when you’re trying to decide if she’s just the object of your one-night fling, make sure you’re rational and able to think on your own, and don’t let the oxytocin besiege your amygdala and make you think you’re fearless.
If your brain starts making excuses for that not-quite-perfect object, then we’re going to tell you another secret, namely that people don’t change. That’s right. People don’t change by nature and people don’t change the way they treat others. This is true for both men and women. So you need to pay attention to the signs that are worth being alert to. If you will ignore these signals, it is possible that it is because you are in a period of infatuation.
Alex didn’t become a bunny killer because of hot extramarital sex. She was already that way, and Dan just ignored that fact.
Clearly, Alex has a very obvious personality disorder. We will discuss this point in subsequent chapters. But let’s focus first on another possible reason: besides the influence of hormones, men are just attracted to a particular type of woman.
Childhood Imprinting and Partnerships
Research shows that whether people experience intimate, loving relationships from their parents or nurturers at an early age can have a huge impact on their future partnerships. Even if you have no memory of your childhood experiences, these experiences can influence how you feel and act in relationships and in life later in life. A 20-year follow-up study showed that infants who developed close and loving relationships with their caregivers during the first 18 months of life were more likely to handle conflict between partners when they became adults. The researchers categorized these infants as “secure. If infants do not develop secure attachments during this critical period, they will have more difficulty in future partnerships and will have more difficulty engaging in relationships as adults.
Does this mean you can only date women who have established secure attachments in infancy? Of course not. If perfect early parenting were the criteria for finding a partner, then the human race would have died out long ago. No one’s parents are perfect. But we would do well to understand how childhood imprinting can affect you and your partner.
Your childhood experiences will also affect who you find as a partner. Even babies prefer those with faces that look like their nurturers. Sometimes, the partner you choose will carry the personality traits of your early adopters. For better or worse, your brain is trying to recreate these childhood imprints.
Konrad Lorenz was the first to set out to begin studying childhood imprinting in the early 20th century. Konrad Lorenz was a naturalist who discovered that when ducklings and geese were newly hatched, they would attach themselves to the first moving object they saw. Usually this moving object would be their mother. But Lorenz managed to get the birds to attach themselves, and even to non-animal objects such as rain boots and electric trains.
During the critical period just after birth, these birds build attachments with whatever object appears to them. Lorenz becomes the father of these birds. Once the attachment is established, it is very difficult to change. What is even more surprising to Lorenz is that when these ducklings and geese grow up, they try to pursue humans, including Lorenz, and try to mate with humans instead of looking for other ducks and geese.
I’m afraid no man could accept that if the hottest woman he met in the grocery store looked at him just because he looked like her mother. It’s simply too unromantic. But attraction between men and women is determined by a combination of innate and acquired characteristics, and the process of formation is very complex. So when you find yourself hopelessly infatuated with someone, you still have to keep your mind clear. There’s no harm in that. It’s even better if you can think about it before both of you reach orgasm.
Whether you’ve broken further into your relationship or not, it’s necessary for you to stop and consider some key questions before you push your relationship any further. It’s about how you find out who she really is.
How do you get to know the truest version of her?
Observe how your partner treats her pets, friends and family, and you will get a general idea of how she will treat you. Take a step back and observe her as objectively as possible. Is she kind? Does she respect others? Is she patient? Does she have passion? Does she think of others, or does she get self-centered? Getting to know her real side means getting to know her heart, her mind, and her body. Do you trust her? Do you feel at ease when you interact with her? Do you laugh a lot together? Do you understand her sense of humor? Does she understand your sense of humor? If you don’t know her well enough to answer these questions, or if you can’t understand her, then your future with her will be difficult.
Mindfulness. You need to observe clearly whether she is a kind person or someone who will often complain about her family and friends. Does she blame others when negative events occur? Does she take responsibility when she has misunderstandings with friends and family? Is she honest in other relationships? Or does she often lie and make excuses? Is she loyal? Can she keep secrets? Does she gossip about family and friends as soon as they confide in her?
You have to remember that people are always different by nature. If she can’t value the trust and loyalty of those close to her, then she will do the same for you. Is she open-minded, or old-fashioned? Is she serious and responsible? Can she keep her promises and do what she says she will do? Is she good at communicating and negotiating, or does she provoke others and create conflict? Is she prone to hypersensitivity? Hypersensitivity refers to two cognitive states: (1) she always focuses on the negative side of things and thinks that any new situation will be a mess; (2) she endlessly reflects on every little negative thing.
Thoughts. Does she practice what she preaches? Does she practice what she preaches? Does she trust you or does she doubt you? Or maybe she says she trusts you, but actually checks your phone or repeatedly asks where you’ve been? Does she accept your friends, or does she always find fault with each of them? Does she sneak through your drawers, check your mail, or question every female friend on your social media? Will she endlessly tweet you and wait completely for a reply? If you are not a playboy worthy of her suspicion, then all of these behaviors are very noteworthy red alarms.
Physical. Can there be a sexual spark between you? It would feel great if the two of you could have some intellectual interaction or interesting conversations with each other. However, if there is no mutual attraction between you to begin with, then even if you two argue intensely for 200 games, there will not be a spark between you magically.
Here we come back to the obsession we talked about earlier. Infatuation is highly selective, not everyone you meet will release those feel-good hormones to you, and you won’t release them to every girl you meet. If you fail to create this hormonal mutual attraction when you first meet, it will be difficult to develop it later.
Human biology is extremely powerful and cannot be manipulated. So you might as well save your breath. You can pretend that you are very compatible with each other, and she can pretend too. But you know in your own heart that you are actually not electric between you. A one-night stand can get you through the long lonely nights, but as long as you are not wildly attracted to each other, she will not be able to satisfy your deeper needs. A good partnership is a high degree of unity of body, mind and spirit. Only a stupid man would compromise to achieve one or two of these goals.
When your brain is not yet affected by an overdose of oxytocin, you have to ask yourself some questions. Some specific personality traits, or personality disorders, can make your life very bad and miserable. You surely know the expression, “Don’t let go of the crazy”. This is a crossword puzzle about your love life. You can fill in the blanks with the names of any body parts you think are appropriate. There are always many suggestions for a happy life. The first of them is: “Choose your life partner carefully. Your partner relationship determines whether 90% of your life will be happy or sad.” This is not an exaggeration at all. You should always be aware of and alert to the following personality traits.
The damsel in distress. Does she often take on the role of the victim? Does she complain endlessly about the negative relationships she’s experienced? Has she ever said that a friend betrayed her or that an ex-boyfriend broke her heart by cheating on her? Does she always simply divide people into two categories, either good or bad?
You have to beware. In her eyes, at first, you may be a really good person who saved her from a tragic fate, but eventually, you are likely to be classified as a bad person by her as well. Does she always harp on about her physical illness, personal trauma or family tragedy? In the course of a relationship, you always share personal life experiences to enhance mutual understanding, and many of the personal experiences she shares are filled with sad memories. But the question is, was her personal character formed on the basis of trauma? Has she learned from her past mistakes, heartbreak and trauma, or is she still complacent about her victim role? If she feels that everyone in her life has broken her heart, then you are immediately the next person to break her heart.
Princess disease. Is she displaying a strong sense of superiority? Is she unable to treat others, such as waiters, workers, or strangers, well, on the grounds that they are of lower social status, class, and value than she is? If the answer is yes, then you have met a girl with princess problems.
Princesses never say “thank you” when you open a door or pull a chair for her. They always take these treats for granted and often ask you to pay a lot of money to show that you care about her. Princess girls will often have unrealistic expectations of you. In their eyes, you may be Prince Charming at first, but, as time passes, you end up being no different from other “lowly” people in her eyes. They lack empathy, they don’t understand basic etiquette, and they are willing to belittle others in order to feel good about themselves. The New York Times published a satirical cartoon of a princess angrily yelling at a waitress, “Do you have any idea who I think I am?” The Competitor. Does she overemphasize her success? Does she open her mouth to brag about her various accomplishments and trophies, while showing no interest in you? Does she want the upper hand whether with you or with others?
The competitor is competitive about everything and often indignant. She will flirt with other people to make you jealous so you know how lucky you are to be with her. This person’s happiness is based on other people’s mistakes. She wants to control everyone, including herself. She may also be a perfectionist. This kind of woman will have a very strict diet and will find it difficult to truly enjoy pleasure. The competitor has no sense of humor.
The working woman. Her life is full of drama, even chaos. Her life is always full of one problem after another, and she expects you to solve all of them. She faces a crisis every single day. Most people want a partner for themselves, not a much-needed problem to solve. Some men, on the other hand, can’t help but be attracted to women who make them and get caught up in the whirlwind of chaos they create. The gas in her house is out, she’s locked out, she’s involved with an ex-boyfriend or has a messed up relationship with a friend. She may also have a drug or alcohol abuse problem. She may be drinking two or three glasses of wine a night. If her pupils become too large or too small, this could be the result of substance abuse. She may refuse to eat anything. She may not even be able to have a pleasant time without alcohol and parties. Working girls can cause you a lot of trouble that you will not be able to fix eventually. If she won’t change at all, will you be able to accept her as she is?