By: Chris Anderson Psy.D.

The desire to seek out a mate for intimacy and reproduction is deeply rooted in our biological makeup. Finding a partner is often viewed as one of the major tasks in adulthood. There is often an intricate and complex set of behaviors and processes for attracting and selecting a mate. This is true of all species as can be seen on almost any nature show. Some courtship rituals are elaborate and bizarre, but usually serve the purpose of attempting to choose a partner that is healthy and well-suited not just for procreation but also a good mate and partner for rearing a family.

The Dating Marketplace

The best method or process for evaluating prospective mates is in the dating arena. Forum of dating allows couples to experiment with people and relationships to assess the long-term suitability and compatibility of a person. It is very analogous to test-driving cars before laying down your money and committing to just one. Like shopping for a car, dating allows a person to assess the features and characteristics of a person to see what they like.

Physical Attraction

Most people know that beauty is in the eye of the beholder. What is attractive to one person may differ wildly from another person. This visual assessment seems to be hardwired into most people. This is often a necessary but not sufficient variable for mate selection. Having some attraction to a person is often a prerequisite to a willingness to date them; however, beauty alone will rarely seal the deal. Most people with a few past partners know that beauty is only skin deep and that there is much more to evaluate along the way. Generally speaking, most people are biologically wired and attracted to people that they perceive to be young, physically healthy, mentally and emotionally stable, and who are fertile.

Assortative Mating

Assortative mating is a theory that holds that people are prone to selecting mates that are similar to them both genetically, phenotypically, as well as socially. People often select partners similar to them in looks, height, attractiveness, body type, and other characteristics. Socially, most people are drawn to others of similar socioeconomic backgrounds, education, and upbringing and who share similar values and goals in life. Ironically, the single highest predictor of mate selection is proximity. Your ideal mate may be waiting for you in Austria, but odds are you will never meet them. The sad reality is that we work with what is available and accessible to us, usually within a 10-30 mile radius. The street vendor in New Mexico might have the best honey crisp apples, but odds are you will be picking your apples from the grocery store nearest to you.

If you are struggling in a relationship and need help exploring the complex sources or causes of this struggle, feel free to contact IPC so you can schedule an individual consultation with one of our providers so we can help discuss treatment options. Please call us now at 763-416-4167, or request an appointment on our website: WWW.IPC-MN.COM so we can sit down with you and complete a thorough assessment and help you develop a plan of action that will work for you. Life is too short to be unhappy. Find the peace of mind you deserve.

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