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LOVE An expert guide

Helen Fisher is a biological anthropologist specialising in the science of romantic partnerships. Her books and TEDx talks have been read and watched by millions. John Barton asks the burning questions…

relationships

Psychologies: From a scientific point of view,what is love?

Helen Fisher: Human beings have evolved three distinctly different brain systems for mating and reproduction: the sex drive,romantic love,and feelings of deep attachment. They can act in any order,or in any combination.

Psychologies: Is it possible to have all three in one relationship?

HF: You have to sustain all three brain systems. To keep your sex drive alive,have sex! People find all kinds of wonderful ways to do it and keep doing it. Schedule sex; for some reason,we believe that sex should be spontaneous. For variety,take sex out of the bedroom and send each other sexy messages.

As for sustaining romantic love,you need novelty,novelty,novelty. Read new things to each other. Travel to different places. Adopt a fresh interest. In order to stay deeply attached to someone long term,stay ‘in touch’. Walk arm in arm. Hold hands. Cuddle. Give each other massages. Kiss; hug; hold each other.

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About Psychologies

If you're feeling depleted, out of sorts and ready for a holiday, then this issue is for you. Our 18-page dossier on how to renew your strength shares scientifically proven ways to fill up your tank and keep it full. If you’re hitting the beach but want to revolutionise the way you see yourself, turn to page 46 and learn about the new mindset to adopt to finally find peace with your body. This month, we invite you to train your brain to think differently but we also invite you to sing, dance and play. Why? Because it’s not only good for your soul, it’s good for your health. Learn how the arts can help you live a long, happy life. Here’s to a long, happy summer!
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