According to a poll made by Gallup, 50% of Americans don’t believe in evolution of life on earth. Even though it’s an improvement from earlier polls, the number of people denying the truth is still high. And this is the mighty US we’re talking about. Make a worldwide poll and you’re left baffled at how much we reject truth. Just because it is complex. And your relationship suffers because of that ignorance.
Albert Einstein said he was not sure about the infinity of the universe but he was sure about that of human stupidity. Yet to conquer stupidity you need to really understand the truth about your own humanity. How you became a human being and how you’re connected to every other creation in the universe.
And Charles Darwin’s theory of evolution is the best theory to help you out on that. To really know how your biology is negatively affecting your relationship, knowing how it came about is a necessity.
When you understand evolution, a lot of things begin making sense. Suddenly you know why some people are white and others black. With some in the middle of the spectrum. The phrases “Mistakes are to human.” and “Nobody is perfect.” begin making sense. You become more appreciating and aware of human potential.
But yet again recognize how vulnerable each of us is when judged on an personal level.
As a civilization, we’re incredible. We take men to the moon. We cure diseases which were untouchable a few centuries back. As a matter of fact, we’re trying to colonize other planets as well as curing death. Let’s just say, we’re Gods.
Yet on an personal level, it’s like you’re visiting a whole new solar system. We behave so similar to our wild cousins. We have unnecessary fears. We hate those who don’t share our skin color. Talk of the number one killers of human beings and you find it’s their fellow humans.
Unfortunately this vulnerability crosses over to our sacred relationships. Today you meet a woman and you experience the best that life has to offer. You care about her so much. And she feels the same way. The two of you are a match made in heaven. At least for the first couple of months or years, before nature steps in.
Bit by bit, each of you discovers the other’s weaknesses, desires, fantasies and imperfections. You get surprised. You thought “she was different”. Only to realize she’s like any other woman on earth except for a few differences.
You feel disgusted. Heck, you contemplate looking for someone else. “I was mistaken. She’s not the one.” You say.
But are you sure you’re going to meet the one. Are you certain that she’s the problem and not you? Or both of you?
As you’re about to find out, the problem is neither of you. The problem is nature (if you’re hell bent on blaming someone). Nature wired you to behave in certain ways. Even when it’s against your very happiness. It’s like you have no say in the issue.
For deep biological reasons, you can sabotage your own happiness without conscious awareness. Because of mental biases, you might hurt a person you’re meant to care about in the first place. It’s ugly I tell you.
But awareness of a problem is the first step to finding a solution. So, go ahead and see how depressingly weird your nature can be at times. And your relationship will thank you for it.
- Human nature evolved to make sure you pass on your genes not stay happy for decades.
Yap. Happiness is just a side effect of efficient survival. If you’re happy, then you have more reasons to live. If you can live long enough then your chances of mating with a woman increase. And if you mate with a woman, then chances are high that you’re going to get off springs. Once that happens, you’ve just passed on your genes into the next generation. Mission accomplished.
The state of happiness happens when the hormone dopamine is pumped into your brain. It becomes obvious that the people who had genes that allow production of this hormone were more likely to embrace life that those who didn’t. So throughout evolution, these people spread quickly throughout the population by natural selection.
This brings the attention back to you. How you came to like that girl. Deciding to live with her for the rest of your life. You might think all these are well thought out decisions but think again. The genes are silently in control here.
There sole mission is to make sure you survive long enough to pass them on to the next generation. Period.
Being a human being gives you the power to reduce this power of these shadow dictators but only to a certain extent. For example it will require a lot of stress and mental instability to decide ending your life. Or try as you may, but you won’t decide whether to feel attracted to women or not. That is far beyond your conscious reach.
Having said that. It becomes obvious that during all your interactions and dealings with your girlfriend or wife, caution should be taken. Sometimes it’s not that she’s really seeing someone else. It’s just insecurity from your side.
If you looked at things from a genetic point of view, the genes don’t want their chances of transmission be taken up by some other genes (in this case those of another male).
Take that approach and you’ll realize it’s just the genes making you do their own bidding in most if not all cases. For their selfish reasons. Don’t try fighting it. Just be aware of it. And less damage will be done.
2. The problem of Biological clocks
These are bitches. Especially to women. When you age, as much as you might not believe it, your body takes notice before you do. When a boy reaches his late teenage years, he starts feeling pressure to date girls.
It’s not only the environment (his peers mostly) that cause all this pressure but also his genes. In their covert offices, they know time has come for this fellow to begin experimenting with seeing girls.
They’ve known for some time now (since 12 or so) that he is physically and biologically fit to impregnate a woman. And so hormones are released. The semen factories become more active. He begins experiencing wet dreams. And the rest is history.
To an adult male, the pressure is not on seeing other girls per se. But on having kids (if you’ve not yet). The genes “advice you” to find a woman capable of producing kids for you. They go ahead to pressurize you into a relationship with someone to begin a family later on.
But what people rarely take notice of is that these little geniuses are persuading you into taking care of their new vehicles – children. It’s the reason women love their children much more than they love the men who fathered them.
From a genetic point of view, transmission of your genes and survival of the vehicles (children) take top precedence more than anything else.
To summarize, the next time you badly want to settle with that woman in a permanent relationship yet you didn’t like her in the first place, you should really ask yourself who is calling the shots. You or your genes. It might be because you happen to be 32. An indication to the genes that your time is clocking up.
3. Unnecessary fear.
Sometimes problems will happen in your relationship not because of genuine reasons. But because there is a silent struggle for power going on. Fear causes you to over watch your girlfriend. You begin stalking her. In the name of not wanting her to cheat on you. This might happen even when she has never given you any reason to doubt her.
Because of intense fear, you will end up pushing her away. She will get tired of your insecurities. And you’ll lose an amazing woman because of over fearing.
But recognize that fear for what it is – unnecessary anxiety over the future. You think she’ll be taken by other men. Letting her be free arouses feelings of jealousy inside of you. But first recognize that the problem might not be you but deep psychological reasons.
Reasons that are beyond your conscious reach but which you can influence none the less.
You might have your own goals but your body has its own goals. It has been like that since time immemorial. Learn the skill of differentiating what your body wants from what you want. You will prevent a lot of unnecessary chaos in your life more than you know.
4. Dependent on social bonds.
Have you ever gone after a girl not because you liked her but because your friends wanted you to? Do you know of a relative (especially women) who was coaxed into settling down with someone not because she wanted to but because “time was not on her side”?
It goes on and on. It affects every society. From a banker living in New York to peasant farmers living in Botswana. We’re social animals. We survive better if we do it together. Being in good terms with relatives and friends improved the survival chances of our relatives. And they lived long enough to pass on their genes unlike the loners.
Well social bonds help us survive but they always interfere with our inclinations. People always assume you want the same things as they do but do you? They assume because everyone is getting married, you do too. But is it true? And if even if want to, do you have to do it before you hit 35 as most people do?
In other words don’t let people influence what you want out of a relationship. Don’t let them tell you which kind of woman you should like. Because the truth is they don’t know. Except if you tell them.
Don’t let your biological need for social bonds influence your decision-making. Make customized decisions about your relationship and what you want from it. You’ll thank me later.
5. Prefer the short-term over the long-term.
This is a mental bias. And so obvious, really. You hate planning for the long run when the immediate future is still puzzling to you. Why bother with what will happen in five years when you have Friday night to think of?
An incredible relationship might come to an end just because you failed to account for the long run. You neglect taking care of your woman while spending time with other lovers. Only to realize that she’s tired of you and she wants to move on. And nothing can stop her now.
Once a great relationship, is tarnished, because of your inability to focus on the long-term. Maybe you could have had your lovers but not at the expense of the time you’re supposed to spend with a person you care about.
Seeing things from a long-term perspective is something you can have but it doesn’t come naturally. It takes deliberate practice over time to develop into a skill. If you can know when to override your short-term instincts in favor of the long-term. Regrets won’t be part of your romantic life. And your relationship will flourish beyond your wildest expectations.
6. Statistical Ignorance.
This one bulldozes even the “wisest’ amongst us. If focusing on the long-term doesn’t come naturally. Then statistical awareness is more alien. Statistically about half of the marriages end in divorce, but rarely do people think they might be among the unsuccessful cohort.
Statistically, the odds are against you when it comes to meeting a perfect partner. But we rarely think about it that way. Instead of taking time to grow your relationship, you waste it searching for your “soulmate” who doesn’t exist. At least not the way you think.
Each one of us wants to think that he/she is unique. But not so much. We’re more or less the same. Just different features of the same thing. You overrate yourself while DNA laughs.
It doesn’t mean you can’t defy the odds. But first, you need to accept the fact that even the odds of defying odds are not on your side. I don’t say this as a way of belittling you. No, not by one bit. I’m the first to admit that am amazed by how much we as human beings can do. All am saying is, recognize the facts.
Being in sync with reality will actually elevate your chances of success.
So, the next time your girlfriend appreciates you for what you’re doing, take note. Not all women do that. The next time she genuinely takes interest in your cravings, appreciate her. She’s a statistical anomaly. You won’t find many like her around your city.
Developing a habit of seeing the statistical side of things helps you evaluate the reality of things. And your relationship will thank you for it.
Bonus. Excessive valuing of what’s missing.
Around the 13th century, pineapples were so rare in Europe. The few that were imported from South America were bought (expensively) by the royal families. Eating a pineapple became a lifetime goal for most of the population as they couldn’t afford it. Buildings were set up in honor of the pineapple.
Anyone who got a hold of one kept it as a souvenir until it decomposed. The pineapple was such a precious fruit.
First forward to today and you see a fruit like any other. Chances are high that this is the first time you’re thinking about it in a month or so. Why? Because now it’s readily available. Not because it got any less sweet.
What we can learn from the story of the pineapple is that we over value the things we don’t have. And neglect the things we have.
Having a girlfriend who gives you a piece of mind can be easily forgotten. And instead focus on her inability to say exactly what she wants at times. You forget how understanding she can be in times of hardships. And instead focus on her inability to pull off your favorite sex position.
No one is a full package. You can go to all places on earth and you’ll never find a person like that. Like nature itself, we’re not perfect but good enough. Appreciate what is good enough. Your relationship can be good enough. That’s achievable but perfection is an illusion. Don’t aim for perfection.
There many inconsistencies about human nature that I’ve missed out. But I’ve talked about the most common ones. Don’t try to hide from them. Embrace them. Recognize that there part of the human condition. Acceptance will go a long way to ensure that they don’t stop you from enjoying an amazing relationship with a great woman.
What have I missed? Is there any human condition that prevented you from having a nice healthy relationship? Follow me on twitter and continue the conversation.