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Looking at Romantic Relationships from an Evolutionary Psychology Perspective
From an evolutionary psychology point of view - one of the primary concerns that humans have is to reproduce, and pass on their genes so as to survive. This concern has different ways of manifesting in the different sexes. In this hub I hope to look at relationships from the lens of evolutionary psychology.
Women have to pick their sexual mates carefully. As they have to ensure that their mate will be committed and able to care for their offspring in the long term. As women have to carry the baby for 9 months before delivering, breastfeed, and play the nurturing role more than man, they need to know that their partner will be capable of providing for them and the child in the long run, lest they have to raise their child single handedly. In the past, in the hunter and gatherer society, men were the hunters and women were the gatherers, as it was easier for mothers to stay with their infants while their husbands would venture off (sometimes for days) in search of food. Thus in evolutionary psychology terms, women tended to look for good providers who could ensure a high chance of survival for their offspring.
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Man, on the other hand, are concerned NOT with quality, but with quantity of sexual partners. As men are designed differently without a womb but with many sperm, they are then concerned with finding as many partners as possible to impregnate, with the hopes that they will be able to bear offspring that will survive. In fact, men are often concerned with beauty, as beauty is an indication of how healthy the women is. This would then be a good indicator of the health of his offspring, and its chances of survival.
From this viewpoint, men might get jealous knowing that another guy has the chance of spreading his sperm into his ex-girlfriend instead of him. The thought of someone else bearing offspring with a partner that once belonged to him, (despite the fact that he might have initiated the break up) still gives rise to the possibility that he might lose out on the chance of continuing his line - thus he gets jealous. This also helps us understand why men will be more upset if they found their wives cheating on them, while women would be more jealous if they discovered they their husbands had fallen in love with someone else.
A women will feel more jealous if she finds out that the father of her child has fallen in love with someone else, as this threatens the source of provision for herself and her child. To her, love is a sign of commitment and losing that means that her security in the future is now shaky. It is counted a a big loss, considering the fact that she spent months pregnant with the child, and spent months or even years nurturing and feeding the infant - a huge investment compared to the male.
I hope this hub has given us a different perspective that we can use to understand our relationships and the dynamics that go on between couples.