Obesely Speaking

The brain and obesity

7 Deadly Mistakes Lonely Women Make

Why some women will never find or keep a boyfriend
Aaron Ben-Zeév
This post is a response to Why We All Need to Belong to Someone by Aaron Ben-Zeév, Ph.D.

Generally, there are seven categorical reasons some women have difficulties finding and keeping boyfriends. These reasons have evolutionary and biological roots that divide the sexes in behavioral proclivities. I am not saying, "this is what women should do, or have to do to get a man." What I am saying is, "these are general things that some women tend to do that men tend to take exception to and why they do."  Having said that, here are the seven areas:   

The Desperation Mindset

Humans are hunters and gathers, so we value items that are more difficult to acquire. For the ancients, this meant key survival items (e.g. best food and building materials). The human brain consolidates and simplifies. The lessons of hunting and gathering became: difficult = valuable & easy = invaluable, very much the same way all of the lessons of conflict resolution became, fight-or-flight. As society grew more complex, the consolidated and simplified hunter/gatherer lesson was corrupted. For example, diamond jewelry is expensive, whereas cubit zirconium (CZ) jewelry is cheap. Yet, a CZ has all the qualities that attracted to humans to using diamonds for jewelry.  Likewise, a readily available woman has less appeal.   

Men were the hunters, and women were the gatherers. Hence, men instinctually love hunting, and the male brain thrives on the neurochemical rewards of capture, i.e. dopamine and serotonin. Dopamine releases in anticipation of reward, not the actual reward, so the actual qualities of the woman do not matter as much as hunting her.  Variability also increases dopamine in the brain.  That is why gambling is addictive and why players play around. Not knowing if you will have a big kill or no kill is irresistible for the brain’s reward system. Players are not into their conquests; they are into the dopamine derived from whether or not the quest becomes a conquest.

Men intrinsically mistrust women because religions, especiallyJudeo-Christianity, portray women as untrustworthy, e.g. Eve, Delilah or Jezebel. If a woman is easy prey, men instinctively think she will be easy prey for other men. Thus, an easily acquirable female represents more threat than control, and the brain will run from that scenario every day, all day long. 

I often hear women use the phrase, “land a man.” Men are not marlins or Cessna’s; you do not need to land them. Men will land themselves… you just need to point them towards the runway and make them circle the tower until they are so low on fuel, they are begging to land.  Besides, you do not want a man that you have to land.  You want a man that thanks God he has landed you.

In addition, some women will lie about who they are and what they like to do to get a boyfriend. Men deplore that.  It just confirms the “Eve” stereotype.  When they find out who you really are, and what you really like, they lose respect for you and resent being deceived. Not only will he resent you, your self-abandonment will turn into self-resentment, and evolve in self-neglect, which is the diamond lane to ugly.   

Asking Men to Define Your Relationship

Never ask a man to define your relationship, because it is idiotic, annoying and a neon sign flashing “HOT MESS.” If you have to ask if you are in a relationship, the answer is obviously, no.

Being Too Clingy

All humans fear intimacy. When another person moves towards you, the brain’s default response is to move away for safety. Clinginess is invasive, threatening, annoying, suspect and extremely unattractive.  You might as well tattoo “discounted merchandise” on your forehead.  

Failure to Stroke the Caveman

Historically men have always protected women. However, the days when men were men and women were grateful are gone. Women need condoms, not men for protection. Most men could not physically protect a woman if they had to.  However, men need to feel like their woman sees them as a big “manly man.” I am a feminist, because there can be no free men until women are free.  However, blurred gender roles are one of the prices of the feminism. Intellectually, most men understand evolving gender roles.  However, intellect is a cortical event, whereas emotions occur in the old brain, where there is no thinking, just “survive now, and ask questions later.”  Fight-or-flight is the default emotional male response to a woman not making him feel big and strong.  Both of those lead to some woman sitting on a barstool saying, “I’d like a strong drink of hard liquor, and nothing with a man’s name.”  Note: Making a man feel manly is not the same as assigning him all of the yucky domestic tasks. 

Talking About Other Men

Repeatedly mentioning other men will prevent or destroy a relationship. That is because society has told us that women are not supposed to think about men other than their boyfriends, husbands or sons.

Asking a Man How You Look

Why would any woman pose such a question?  Again, if you have to ask, the answer is not good. Men are as readable as those giant numbers on the special needs phones.  You should never ask men certain types of questions, i.e. ones you do not really want answered truthfully. Scientists have not identified the mechanism, but it is the Y chromosome factor in men.  That is, why would you think that women, who begin their day by making up their faces, are not the least bit interested in certain truths, such as: whether or not a pair of jeans makes them look fat. Only women with body image issues ask those questions. Then they get upset when some man says, “not to me but the Night Manager at Denny’s said you were creating a fire hazard from the thigh friction”, or "are you kidding you're so skinny you could walk through a harp"—the “Why?” chromosome. Besides, if a man does not like what you are wearing, just take it off. 

Too Much Hugging and Talking

Oxytocin causes women to bond with their babies.  Since women have more oxytocin receptors than men do, hugging and conversation causes oxytocin release in women, whereas it releases nothing but anxiety and gas in men. Observe men.  They primarily communicate in monosyllabic words: Yup, cool, nah, huh, nope, whoa and grunts.  If a man strings more than four polysyllabic words together, it is a wedding toast, a eulogy or lie explaining where he has been—and he probably got it from Google.  Forcing conversation on a man is a surefire way to turn him off and drive him away.  If you want conversation, talk to your girl friends. 

I have attempted to couch, a serious message in humor.  That message is: people grow lonelier and more disenfranchised every day. That is not funny; that is tragic.  The challenge is, men and women of today, are not the men and women of yesteryear, but instincts remain the same.  Clearly, the terms of engagement must evolve as we evolve, as no one is free, until we all are free; love is freeing. Finding that one person in life to love, who loves you, is not very much: it is every little thing.  Understanding why we are, the way we are is power.  At the end of day, in essence, men and women are identical: everything they say and everything they do is because they need to give or receive love.  Remain fabulous and phenomenal. 

REFERENCES

Molecules of Emotion: Candace Pert (Touchstone, Ny, NY 1999)

Oxytocin modulates social distance between males and females: Scheele D et al (Journal of Neuroscience November 2012)

Personality is tightly coupled to vasopressin-oxytocin neuron activity in a gregarious finch (Frontiers in Behavioral Neuroscience 2014)

Instant messages vs. speech: hormones and why we still need to hear each other: Leslie J. Seltzer et al (Evolution and Human Behavior)

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Billi Gordon, Ph.D., is Chair of the Advisory Committee for Collective Concerns in Medicine, David Geffen School of Medicine at UCLA.

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