The Chemistry of Love

Millions of romantics will tell you true love can happen to anyone, anytime. But life doesn’t always play out like a Katherine Heigl movie. “My friends tell me that Mr. Right is just around the corner,” says Zoe, 29. “But the older I get, the harder I find it to believe them. I wish there was something more than ‘fate’ to rely on when it comes to meeting the perfect partner.”

Well, Zoe’s prayers could be answered because according to recent research, love is a lot more methodical than we think.

“There are so many scientific things to consider about dating,” says scientist with a twist, Chris Krishna-Pillay. “Take physical beauty for example. It really is a numbers game. It’s all about symmetry, ratios and proportions. Biologically, you will often be drawn to someone with characteristics that are complementary to yours.”

So we’re drawn to people who look like us? That’s a good start, but what about sexual chemistry?

“Our hormones are often jumping around all over the place which means you can find someone attractive one day, and not the other,” explains Krishna-Pillay. “When women are ovulating they are drawn towards masculine men to provide the ‘seed’, but for the rest of their cycle women are generally more attracted to men with slightly more feminised facial features – perhaps those who are more likely to look after the children.

“If a friend tells me he asked a woman out on a date and got turned down, I tell him to go back in 10 days and try again. If he gets rejected again, then maybe it just wasn’t meant to be,” adds Krishna-Pillay.

Rebecca, 34, agrees that your hormones can have an effect on how attractive you find someone. On her first date with Josh, 39, she wasn’t “feeling it” at all. “I struck him off my dating list entirely because we didn’t connect on our first night together,” she says. “But he kept asking me out so I eventually said yes. The second date was great and eight years later, we’re happily married.”

So what does this mean for finding Mr. Right? “My best dating tip would be three-fold,” says Krishna-Pillay. “Listen to the other person, have as much fun as you both can and don’t forget ‘the spark’ that can happen anywhere, any time.”

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