Kathryn's Blog

Match.com has Helen Fisher

eHarmony has Neil Clark Warren. I don’t know if he designed eHarmony’s testing himself, but the site sure uses his Dr. status up front. Pepper Schwartz designed the matching tests for PerfectMatch.com. I’ve followed Pepper Schwartz’s work for years, ever since her landmark book “American Couples” in the late &0’s. And now Match.com has Helen Fisher.

Who’s Helen Fisher? She’s an anthropologist and researcher at Rutgers who wrote the terrific book “Why We Love” that I reviewed in my enewsletter *eMAIL to eMATE* some months ago. I’ll copy the review below for your enjoyment.

What’s Helen Fisher doing for Match.com? Looks like she has designed the matching test for Match’s new site Chemistry.com. Fisher takes the angle in the test that she took in “Why We Love,” using questions to ferret out your brain chemistry to help in the matches. You can read more about it in Love that title.

And here’s another reason to read the article: At the very end is a test on how to determine how much testosterone you were exposed to before birth. You’ll be carrying around a measuring tape, and not to find out the length of what you are thinking….

From Your Romance Coach, Kathryn Lord

Here’s my review:

“Why We Love” by Helen Fisher

I’m always interested in what’s new on the romance and love front, and get my best leads from my eMAIL to eMATE readers and my romance coaching clients. Sure enough, “Why We Love” joins my “Recommended Reading for Romantics” list. Thanks for suggesting it, Doreen! This book is a goodie.

The author Helen Fisher does a terrific job of presenting the latest information on the biochemistry of emotions and love in a fascinating and readable style. Her own theorizing on falling in love, the facts that support and lead her ideas, and poetry, literature, and contemporary examples are woven seamlessly into a readable whole. Understandably, with my psychotherapy and now romance coaching clients, I’ve done a lot of thinking and talking about love and romance myself. And I’m pleased to see that Fisher’s thoughts and the research support and parallel my own theorizing.

Fisher thinks (and the research she quotes agrees) that romantic love has played a vital and important in human survival and development. “Normal” romantic passion lasts between one and two years, which, when you think about it, is just enough time for a new couple to get pregnant, set up housekeeping, and start raising a new infant - not necessarily in that order. Then a new kind of attachment develops, hopefully, that keeps the family together to raise the child. As we well know, that is not a foolproof arrangement.

Fisher’s booked is crammed with riveting detail about the physiology and biochemistry of love and attraction. Fisher also extrapolates from her data and gives advice on how to use the findings in real life. She writes about how to make romance last, how to negotiate the end of a relationship quicker and easier, and even how to encourage someone to fall in love with you as well as make yourself more receptive to the in-love state.

Some of what she says sounds terribly familiar - men like to do things together, women like to talk about it, for instance - but Fisher goes ahead and explains why. She also adds some brand-new, contemporary details, like the role of serotonin in the falling-in-love process, and how elevated levels of serotonin inhibit your ability to fall in love. For those of us (and there are millions!) who take anti-depressants that are SSRI’s (selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors, prozac is the best known), take heed. Your medications that are helping your feel better may be getting in the way romantically.

If you’ve wondered about romance and why men and women do what they do - and who hasn’t? - Fisher has a lot of the answers. And if you want to be “in love,” this book will explain the whole process. This is a “must read”!



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