What if love is really just a manipulative tool of biology? What if the best mating decisions we make come from our genes instead of our conscious brains?
I’ve become obsessed lately with the idea that something inside us simply knows the romantic decisions we need to make. I don’t mean to imply that every romantic pairing is automatically right. I also don’t mean to imply that we always choose the right partners with whom to reproduce. (Those notions are obviously and demonstrably untrue.)
But what if there is some mechanism inside us that sometimes whispers — in a language we don’t consciously comprehend — words to the effect of, “This one is a right fit for you,” when we encounter someone new?
I’ve often considered the idea that there’s something inside us that just knows when one person is right and another is wrong, but I’m suggesting it goes even deeper than I’ve considered before. I’m suggesting that the “selfish gene” inside us — to use Richard Dawkins’ term — knows what we ought to do — and that romantic happiness comes from obeying the whispers of those genes.
Let me tell you about an experiment I used to do involving pictures of attractive women I knew.