He loves me, he loves me not, he loves me, he loves me not. The sacrificial flower is plucked bald and flower petals are strewn about the floor; it’s a familiar feeling for most people — wanting. A recent study of female Facebook users found women enjoyed the uncertainty. Yes, ladies, we relish the tease.
When it comes to matters of the heart apparently our hearts defy our unwritten social contracts. Typically, if you like me, I’ll probably like you back. If you are mean to me, I’ll probably be mean to you. Sociologists call this the reciprocity principal, which essentially means humans respond in kind. However, women in the study were doubly attracted to men when they were uncertain whether or not the man had a crush on them. Furthermore, the women were not just attracted to these men, but the women also reported being in a happier mood.
Now some parts of the reciprocity study still held true. When women were clearly liked by a guy, they liked the guy back. Additionally, when men showed average interest, the women too returned that average interest.
Bear in mind, this study was small and there was no offline interaction between the men and the women in the study. Plus, the study did not analyze the reverse scenario, namely are men equally intrigued by a woman whose affections are uncertain.
Why uncertainty drives women wild is unclear. Certainly, from a reproductive standpoint it does not make a lot of sense. A man that plays mind games is not going to make a great father for our offspring. Perhaps, though, there is something that happens on a chemical level, which drives us towards these mystery men. In recent years, anthropologist Helen Fisher has studied our brains on love. Her findings indicate according to brain scans, love areas in our brains are associated with addiction. Perhaps during the lust phase our brains get the obsessive-compulsive, addictive-like high from the fantasy of Prince Charming.
Ultimately, genetically speaking, what may get men in the “relationship door” is not going to keep them there. In fact, other research suggests women do think nice guys are sexier.
The price of pining? Many bald flowers and 20 bucks to purchase “He’s Just Not that Into You.”