Helen Fisher Quotes

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Barriers tend to intensify romance. It's called the 'Romeo and Juliet effect.' I call it 'frustration attraction.'
Helen Fisher
Men tend to be hierarchical, but women are driven to make lateral connections so they can cooperate.
Helen Fisher
Like most animals, we're wired to associate height with power.
Psychologists maintain that the dizzying feeling of intense romantic love lasts only about 18 months to – at best – three years.
Helen Fisher
There are cognitive processes and limbic reactions associated with basic emotions. And you can change brain chemistry, but you're still not going to change memories and experiences in a human being.
Helen Fisher
Almost always, when I'm on TV, the producers who call me, who negotiate what we're going to say, is a woman.
Helen Fisher
My hypothesis is that conservative Republicans have very clear values, and when you have that, you're simply more relaxed.
Helen Fisher
Women, it turns out, are built to lead - particularly in the modern world.
As societies continue to loosen their standards regarding what is appropriate female and male behavior, I think we are going to realize we have not only underestimated women, but also men.
Helen Fisher
If we remained perpetually infatuated, we couldn't eat, sleep or work.
When somebody leaves Match.com or Chemistry.com, they ask you why you left. One box you can check is, 'I found somebody.' Between 15 and 20 percent of people check that box.
Helen Fisher
The Great Depression of the 1930s saw more American unmarried women working from nine to five, mostly in repetitive, boring, subordinate, dead-end jobs. But the number of working women doubled between 1870 and 1940. During World War II it doubled once again.
Helen Fisher
Once you fall for someone, their smell can be a powerful thing. Women will wear their boyfriends' T-shirts, and throughout tales in history men have held on to their lover's handkerchief.
Helen Fisher
The human brain is built to compare; it's Darwinian to consider an alternative when one presents itself.
Helen Fisher
You fall in love with somebody who fits within what I call your 'love map,' an unconscious list of traits that you build in childhood as you grow up. And I also think that you gravitate to certain people, actually, with somewhat complementary brain systems.
Helen Fisher
Despite the myth that men are less committed, they are predisposed to desire marriage.
Helen Fisher
You've got to remember that men are men and women are women. And although a lot of similarities, there are some real differences.
Helen Fisher
Women spend their lives trying to look good for men. So a woman who feels she's sending the right visual signals is pleased with herself.
Helen Fisher
Why do we feel jealousy? Therapists often regard the demon as a scar of childhood trauma or a symptom of a psychological problem. And it's true that people who feel inadequate, insecure, or overly dependent tend to be more jealous than others.
Helen Fisher
The only people you and I are likely to know in common are people in the news – politicians, journalists and celebrities.
Helen Fisher
You know, when you've been dumped, the one thing you love to do is just forget about this human being, and then go on with your life – but no, you just love them harder.
Helen Fisher
Sometimes we fall in love with somebody who will probably never love us, for reasons having nothing to do with us but with their own mindset, their chemistry.
Helen Fisher
More and more of us live segmented, compartmentalized lives. This isn't natural. For millions of years, our forebears knew everyone around them and everyone knew them.
Helen Fisher
I suspect privacy is a very new concept to humanity.
Haiti is the poorest country in the western hemisphere; some say the poorest in the world.
Helen Fisher
In that early-love stage, you're in that state of exhilaration. You talk till dawn. You become obsessed with 'What does he think?' 'Does he like me?' 'Does he think I'm fat?'
Helen Fisher
Office romances are few, short, and not usually destructive.
Good-looking people are always looking for other good-looking people.
Blushing is thought to be linked to increased levels of norepinephrine in the brain, which may be associated with romantic feelings. It signals that we are interested and excited, which is attractive to men.
Helen Fisher
You can get into a very fancy car and know everything about the engine, but when you drive in that car, you feel that rush. In the same way, I think the more you know about love, the more you can enjoy it. And knowing about your personality type, who you are and what kind of person you're dealing with gives you a great leg up.
Helen Fisher
We evolved in a tropical climate where the smells of plants and flowers were all around us. We spent a lot of time in the trees with a lot of sunlight and no clothes.
Helen Fisher
Liberals and conservatives are looking for entirely different things. Their attitudes toward romance and how they court are really dramatically different. There's almost no overlap.
Helen Fisher
When you're in the throes of this romantic love, it's overwhelming – you're out of control, you're irrational, you're going to the gym at 6 A.M. every day – Why? Because she's there.
Helen Fisher
There exists no culture in which adultery is unknown, no cultural device or code that extinguishes philandering.
Helen Fisher
A lot of people head into courtship looking for fireworks. Don't pass up a chance by dumping someone after a first date because you don't feel the fireworks. The fireworks can happen at any time and be maintained.
Helen Fisher
Of all the foods we share, there is nothing more primordial than meat. It's no surprise that meat-eaters still want a partner who will give, receive and share this primordial symbol of a budding partnership.
Helen Fisher
Men couldn't care less if your strands are perfectly styled and neat. In fact, he might like you more with some wildness or bedhead, since it shows you're carefree and relaxed.
Helen Fisher
It certainly would have been adaptive for ancestral man to have a chubby wife during stressful times of famine. Not only would she have had more calories to burn, and thus more energy and endurance, but since fat stores estrogen, she would have remained fertile for longer.
Helen Fisher
Scientists know that women gravitate to men who have a different immune system from theirs.
Helen Fisher
A woman of 40 or 50 or 60 can take estrogen replacements, get facelifts, spend her money in bars.
Helen Fisher
As women in industrial societies join the paid workforce, they gain the economic means to depart unhappy marriages more easily.
Helen Fisher
Any kind of novelty or excitement drives up dopamine in the brain, and dopamine is associated with romantic love.
Helen Fisher
A hundred years ago, if you had a child out of marriage, you'd be a social disgrace. Today women feel comfortable enough economically and culturally to bring up a child without a recognized commitment from a man.
Helen Fisher
The Internet lets women use words, which is their natural tool. Little girls speak in more complex, grammatical sentences than little boys do, and women never lose that superiority in verbal ability.
Helen Fisher
Both sexes like the exercise and challenge of sports, but for men it's also a basic display behavior for impressing and winning a mate.
Helen Fisher
At first I assumed hate was the opposite of love. But it isn't. The opposite of love is indifference.
Helen Fisher
Nobody gets out of love alive. You turn into a menace or a pest when you've been rejected.
Helen Fisher
We all have restlessness in long-term relationships.
I can't conceive of caring more about my president than my own partner.
Helen Fisher
I was married and divorced at 23.
Men fall in love faster than, and just as often as, women.
Overdone lipstick is a deterrent to men. It rubs off easily onto their skin and the edges of their shirts, so it discourages them from kissing, touching, and coming closer to you, which is what they really want to do!
Helen Fisher
From my studies of genetics and neuroscience I have come to believe that people fall into four broad personality types – each influenced by a different brain chemical: I call them the Explorer, Builder, Director, and Negotiator.
Helen Fisher
Experiences shape the brain, but the brain shapes the way we view experiences, too.
Helen Fisher
We're not very dangerous animals; we don't have a horn like a rhino or quills like a porcupine.
Helen Fisher
Throughout evolution, ostracism was death indeed.
Romantic love allows you to focus mating energy. Attachment sustains that relationship as long as necessary to raise your baby.
Helen Fisher
We still have community, but we don't seem to have local community. Even in a small town where you know your neighbors and your mother's down the street, they're not in arm's length.
Helen Fisher
Most of us make up our minds in the first three minutes of meeting someone whether there's a potential for a relationship.
Helen Fisher
Kissing is not just kissing. It is a major escalation or de-escalation point in a powerful process of mate choice.
Helen Fisher
I think the happiness we find, we make.
You can really get poked in the back and not feel it very much, but just a feather around your lips and you really do feel it.
Helen Fisher
Love is not an emotion; it is a drive.
Young women today do not marry the men they met in high school, or even the one they go out with at college, because they do not need to.
Helen Fisher
Globalization requires taking a broad contextual and long-term view.
Games are the way we keep romance alive. They're based in human hardwiring. Playing hard-to-get or leaving a little to the imagination allows the woman to be wooed and appreciated and the man to be challenged and intrigued.
Helen Fisher
Women have a better sense of smell than men do, and it's even sharper in the middle of their menstrual cycle, when estrogen levels peak and women are more likely to be deciding whether a man's attractive.
Helen Fisher
Romantic love is an addiction.
When chimps threaten, they open their mouth and show their teeth. It's a little like waving a knife in front of you. It's very primitive, and therefore bizarre.
Helen Fisher
Until recently, we regarded love as supernatural. We were willing to study the brain chemistry of fear and depression and anger but not love.
Helen Fisher
People kill for love. They die for love.
Women are better at reading body language everywhere in the world. As a matter of fact, it's associated with the female hormone estrogen. Women are better at figuring out of tone of voice, reading your face and posture and gesture.
Helen Fisher
Your sweetheart calls you by another's name. His eyes linger too long on your best friend. He talks with excitement about a girl at work. And the fire catches. Jealousy – that sickening combination of possessiveness, suspicion, rage, and humiliation – can overtake your mind and threaten your very core as you contemplate your rival.
Helen Fisher
Men want to think women don't cheat, and women want men to think they don't cheat, and therefore the sexes have been playing a little psychological game with each other.
Helen Fisher
Hair that gleams can send a clear sign that you're young and in your prime, whatever your actual age.
Helen Fisher
Natural beauty really entices men. They will tell you this time and time again, and studies consistently prove it.
Helen Fisher
I think that property is very important in this day and age. It defines you; you worked hard to get it. It's meaningful to you, and when you divorce, a lot of people have a lot of battles over their property for good reasons.
Helen Fisher
A Rolex watch or an expensive car are the things guys often use to show status, wealth, and basic desirability.
Helen Fisher
The reason you take antidepressants is to feel calm. And romantic love is not calm – it's elation, it's mood swings, and you're killing all that when you take the drug.
Helen Fisher
In courtship, who wins and who loses will determine who passes on their DNA to tomorrow.
Helen Fisher
There's a lot of talk about the positive aspects of love. We as a society downplay the danger, the anxiety, and the disappointment. We romanticize romance.
Helen Fisher
Saliva has testosterone and estrogen. When you kiss, you're having a chemical experience.
Helen Fisher
When people tell you to walk a certain way, it's like not thinking of a purple tomato. You can't not do it.
Helen Fisher
A lot of people have been romantically in love with somebody who they feel wasn't appropriate to marry.
Helen Fisher
In general, men are wired to notice obvious signs that convey interest in mating – a warm smile, for example – and ignore other subtleties, like if your lipstick is faded.
Helen Fisher
Women are naturally prone to compete over their mates.
We are wired to find love.
When you look at the brain regions associated with picking up data from the body, a huge amount of the brain is devoted to picking up information from the lips and tongue.
Helen Fisher
I think romantic love evolved to enable you to focus your mating energy on just one individual at a time, thereby conserving mating time and energy.
Helen Fisher
Women like signs of money and education – things that indicate that not only is this guy going to have some resources, but he's also willing to share them.
Helen Fisher
People compose poetry, novels, sitcoms - for love.
You can be instantly scared. You can be instantly happy. So why can't you be instantly romantically in love? I think when it happens, it's because you are ready to fall in love.
Helen Fisher
For men, being too put-together implies femininity.
When you can't have someone but you're not willing to accept that, you try harder and become more extreme about it. Either you win the person back or you drive him away.
Helen Fisher
Hair that looks like it's been naturally sun-bleached makes you seem youthful, like you spend a lot of time outdoors. And that appeals to most people.
Helen Fisher
You size up someone physically in less than one second – too tall, too short, too fat, too thin, too old, too young, too stuffy, too scruffy.
Helen Fisher
Women apparently are quite drawn to men who have differences rather than similarities in their histocompatibility system. They pick it up by smell, and they can pick it up from kissing.
Helen Fisher
I've always maintained that men were more romantic than women.
Along with our many human propensities, we evolved a huge cerebral cortex with which we make decisions.
Helen Fisher
The women's movement is just a symptom of basic changes in the economy that are favoring women.
Helen Fisher
Today, most women are surrounded by ingenious gadgets. They don't grow the peas or raise the chicken that they serve for dinner; instead they hunt and gather in the grocery store. They go through catalogs or department stores to buy clothes instead of shearing sheep, carding wool, and weaving cloth for skirts and coats and blankets.
Helen Fisher
If two very different people pool their DNA, they'll create more genetic variety, and their young will come to the job of parenting with a wider array of skills.
Helen Fisher
There is more and more data indicating that there is a biological basis to your political views.
Helen Fisher
As a group, anthropologists are not too fond of people who work in the business world.
Helen Fisher
People have been looking for love potions since hunter-gatherer societies.
Women have a better sense of color and a better color memory. They're more likely to notice when something doesn't match; more likely to notice what you're wearing.
Helen Fisher
Your face and head give more information about you than any other body part.
Helen Fisher
You don't come home from the office to spend time with another job. Hopefully you come home to someone you can have a good time with.
Helen Fisher
Touch is the mother of the senses. Not only are women more sensitive when they touch, but they're also more sensitive to being touched.
Helen Fisher
When you massage someone, the levels of oxytocin go up in the brain, and oxytocin is one of the chemicals that drives attachment.
Helen Fisher
Mothers really were not built to raise babies not only by themselves, but with only a partner. For millions of years, a woman had much more than just her husband to help rear her young… This whole idea of 'it takes a village to raise a child' is exactly how we're supposed to live.
Helen Fisher
Research shows that couples who have a lot of similarities, including intellectual compatibility, end up staying together.
Helen Fisher
People have often asked me whether what I know about love has spoiled it for me. And I just simply say, 'Hardly.' You can know every single ingredient in a piece of chocolate cake, and then when you sit down and eat that cake, you can still feel that joy.
Helen Fisher
There's every reason to think SSRIs blunt your ability to fall and stay in love.
Helen Fisher
Any time you choose not to hide your tattoo, you're limiting your social sphere, because they're not popular in big business.
Helen Fisher
After a man falls madly in love, he no longer cares how old she is.
As social animals, we need to exchange juicy tales about someone – to connect with one another. For millions of years our forebears must have sat around the campfire, whispering about everyone they knew.
Helen Fisher
Since when is anyone truly honest with anyone?
Men have a psychological need to show off their courage and strength. When he sees you talking to another guy, that instinct kicks in and he jumps to protect you and prove he's worthy of your love.
Helen Fisher
Whether you're married or not, relationships – and the satisfaction tied to them – are extremely important for increasing men's and women's quality of life.
Helen Fisher
I have always been interested in how you can walk into a room and there will be 40 people there and you are immediately drawn to one.
Helen Fisher
Women are very attracted to a low voice because it's linked to testosterone, which for millions of years was a sign that men had very good spacial skills and would have been very good at hunting and finding their way back home.
Helen Fisher
Today, American women bear an average of 2.2 children that live to adulthood. Across most of Europe, women bear even fewer young.
Helen Fisher
A woman will toss her head and a man will say, 'Oh she's trying to pick me up,' when in fact she's not doing that at all. So, women actually have to be a little careful with what they do, because men will pick up things that they didn't mean.
Helen Fisher
There's more than one person on the planet. When you're madly in love, that's not what you think.
Helen Fisher
We spend our lives trying to get along with people so we can keep our jobs, keep our marriages together, so that we can raise our kids properly.
Helen Fisher
Every time you cuddle with your children, you're likely to be driving down your testosterone.
Helen Fisher
Anthropologists have found evidence of romantic love in 170 societies. They've never found a society that did not have it.
Helen Fisher
Jealousy can even be good for love. One partner may feel secretly flattered when the other is mildly jealous. And catching someone flirting with your beloved can spark the kind of lust and romance that reignites a relationship.
Helen Fisher
I think you will find that with divorce will come happier remarriages.
Neither gender is routinely more jealous – although women are more willing to work to win back a lover, while men tend to flaunt their money and status and are more likely to walk out to protect their self-esteem or save face.
Helen Fisher
There's biology in everything, even when you're feeling spiritual.
For so many generations, a woman's only career path was to marry well and to marry up. Those days have changed.
Helen Fisher
It's almost as if men who get tribal tattoos are trying to signal that they are dangerous, they're to be respected, and they're powerful.
Helen Fisher
There were real reasons that you were attracted to somebody originally. The brain doesn't pick willy-nilly. Unless you part ways hating each other for some reason, that mechanism could get triggered again. You can literally fall in love again.
Helen Fisher
We're apt to fall in love with those who are mysterious and challenging to us.
Helen Fisher

Good-looking people are always looking for other good-looking people.
The brain was not built to walk into a bar, where you know nobody, and start a conversation. That's not the way humanity has courted.
Helen Fisher
When you fight, anger drives up testosterone in both men and women.
Men and women are like two feet; they can help each other get ahead.
Real competition can drive up testosterone, which boosts libido.
In America, we are demanding everything from our marriage.