Relationship Advice: The Mating Market Resembles a Supermarket

February 10, 2016 by

Life is about choices. And right now we may have too many to choose from. When we go to a mall, we can go to a variety of stores. When we go to school, we can choose from a long list of courses. When we’re looking for a new car, we have an endless supply of makes, models, and features available to us. The same can be said about food.

And dating.

In fact, dating is a lot like going to the supermarket. Don’t believe me?

Imagine a trip to the local grocery store. We walk in the doors and don’t know where to start. There’s the produce section and the frozen food section, the dairy, meat, bakery areas, and all the packaged and processed foods in the middle.

The same goes for dating. We can meet people on dating sites and apps, through speed dating, friends, or happenstance – the possibilities are endless.

And with so many options available to us regarding what we want to eat and who we want to date, it’s no surprise that many people often make bad choices when it comes to both food and love. It might sound silly to compare the two, but the bottom line is that food and love are two things we will always need and want in our lives.

So what can we do about this? How can we use the inherent forces behind hunger and desire to help us make better and healthier choices?

By taking away all the choices. With so many options, we’re bound to get caught up in what that choice doesn’t have as opposed to what it does have.

In a study on mate choice, researchers found that meeting a potential romantic partner out in the wild (i.e. not through a planned or deliberate meeting) increased their romantic feelings. They wanted to see that person again, and there was a higher viewed potential for falling in love.

The same goes for food. If we’re hungry and all we have to eat is an apple, that apple will probably be pretty delicious to us. But if we have an apple, a banana, and a chocolate chip cookie available to eat, we may not really want the apple. And even if we happen to go with the apple, we may continue to think about the banana and the cookies.

When we have to really look for food or love and struggle to find it, it feels like we’re being rewarded. Because of this, we’re more likely react positively toward that reward. So forget about all the choices and options you have, pick ONE and see where it goes.

Do you need relationship advice? Even if it has nothing to do with food, a Portland relationship counselor can help. Reach out today!