With Valentine’s Day upon us we would like to take a more scientific look at just what is going on among millions of couple worldwide on the day of lovers and throughout the year. The video above is a quick overview of the science of attraction. Causing that rush of giddiness and the butterflies in the tummy is a cocktail of Dopamine and Norepinephrine in the brain. It is these chemicals and our innate instincts that full our sex drive, need for romantic love and finally our attachment to ‘the one’. It all starts with meeting and the first date, which will be a flood of judgements about each other, to see if the other is a viable partner and if you have chemistry with each other.

Let’s talk about the most important interview you’ll ever be granted. Seated at a well-appointed table, you mull the choice between crab cakes and seared tuna, but truly you are sorting through a mental repertoire of wise cracks and war stories. If you are secure in your improvisational charms, you might use this moment to appraise the cleavage or cufflinks of the woman or man across the table. There’s no predicting discussion topics, but you can be sure they’ll pertain to your marital status, extracurricular activities, and your job. (There are no verboten questions at this interview.) You are applying for a new and expanded life. Or, you simply want a one-night pass that can be renewed indefinitely. And you need to know whether your dining companion is up to the task.

A date makes us both spectator and performer at a two-ring circus: We troll for wit, kindness, curiosity, and “chemistry,” hoping that we radiate these same attributes in the right amounts. From strategic winks and blinks to elaborate grooming to gifts of gorgeous baubles, men and women employ an arsenal of tricks in their romantic lives, all in the service of a demanding master at the far reaches of conscious awareness. Eons of evolution have honed our behaviour to aid and abet a reproductive payoff. The sum of the stratagems we employ, and the wisdom of nature in crafting them without our explicit awareness, are now the subject of intense study by evolutionary psychologists.

Our sexual calculations and character reconnaissance, it turns out, call for smart, but not always accurate, judgments. That’s because mating intelligence is as oxymoronic as the term suggests. We routinely bring both cold reason and outsized misconceptions to a relationship. Both serve a purpose. A woman will accurately gauge her date’s personality on first meeting, but she will grow more convinced of his good humour and charm if they stick together. To woo a woman, a guy will grossly exaggerate his income, commitment, and affection for cuddly creatures. But he may have to correctly read micro-gestures as fine as tea leaves to discern whether she’s truly impressed.

Male and female mating intelligence part ways when it comes to each sex’s competing procreative goals. Inscrutable though our machinations may be to our partners (and to ourselves), romantic behaviour is driven by a deep logic. Our minds have evolved to warp reality. Even so, we have unique skews in the mating realm. We’ve all got blind spots about the opposite sex. And sometimes that’s for the best.

…via Love’s Loopy Logic | Psychology Today

Whatever stage you are at in a relationship process there is a lot more going on between you than might seem obvious. We have millions of years of evolution to thank for how the different sexes both perceive each other and form the best possible unions to ensure procreation continues. With a hopefully increased knowledge of what is going on, we wish you the best of luck with your chosen Valentine.