Anyone who has been lucky enough to experience romantic love knows full well that it can be a complicated clusterfuck of confusion and emotion.
That’s because romantic love is primitive and powerful.
But there is more to love than romance, and that’s where things get complicated.
Fisher argues that each of these systems has a specific evolutionary function with the ultimate goal of passing DNA on to an offspring who can survive past infancy.
One catch is that we don’t experience these types of love by themselves or in that exact order.
A second catch is that life has changed a great deal since our ancestors roamed the African savannah a million years ago.
Obviously, love is likely a bit more complex than that three-part description.
David Buss, a psychology professor at the University of Texas at Austin and author of The Evolution of Desire: Strategies of Human Mating, says that "human mating strategies are more complex" than the simple three-part classification of love Fisher describes. He thinks her ideas are a good starting point, but argues that a key problem with them is that gender-specific differences permeate all three systems, he told BuzzFeed Science.
What is clear, though, is that there is an innate human drive for humans to be pair-bonded whether you like it or not, even if it conflicts with other desires.
Good luck out there, lovers!
Science Writer, Fossil Beastmaster
Contact Alex Kasprak at email@example.com.
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