Amanda Wheal – Can Science Help Us Find Love And Maintain A Relationship?

Psychologists would have us believe there are theories about love and relationships so I’m sure we would all like to know how to find and keep our perfect partner!


What Do We Look For In A Partner?

There are many different theories out there. Evolutionary psychologists say that in all cultures women look for an older hunter gatherer alpha male roughly 5 inches taller than her, whilst men seek young fertile women with a good waist to hip ratio,(think hourglass figure). Apparently relationships are motivated by the innate (inborn) drive to reproduce, we just can’t help ourselves! But surely that’s such a limited perspective?! I can see all you independent ladies and “cougars” raising your eyebrows and sighing as I speak. Well you’ll be glad to hear there are other explanations and Psychologists are learning more as the world evolves.

Starting And Maintaining A Relationship. 

Self-disclosure and communication are essential. We gradually share or disclose personal information in relationships, too much personal information too soon isn’t good as some people find it a bit weird or needy. It’s important that it’s reciprocal, you should both be sharing, it makes the other personal feel that you trust and like them, and you can find out what you have in common..or not.  It’s great to have lots in common, after all birds of a feather flock together, but remember opposites attract too!

Is Equality In Relationships Essential, What’s Fair?

A relationship will thrive if both partners perceive or believe that the balance is fair. So for example if you’re partner is a stay at home dad, you may think it’s great to let him go out with his friends on a Friday night, your friends might think this is outrageous but as long as you both feel it’s fair it will help maintain your relationship. So again it’s all about a subjective choice, what you both feel is right rather than any sort of hard and fast factual theory.

Internet And Speed Dating

As a relatively new concept research has conflicting results. Some suggest speed daters decide if there is a partner match physically and within the first 10 seconds. If they don’t fancy you immediately, it’s an uphill struggle after that. In terms of the theories of disclosure discussed earlier, internet dating totally confuses the issue. Apparently because it’s easier to disclose on line, when you actually meet face to face there’s little to talk about. Essentially much of the relationship is over before it’s started!!! But as always the results are mixed, there are pros and cons.

What We See Day To Day

Relationships and Love are complicated, that’s what makes them so exciting…and frustrating at times. Successful relationships  can be stereotypical or totally buck trends. There’s  no magic formula, maybe as the cliché says “you don’t choose who you fall in love with”. Sometimes we choose partners who really “aren’t my type”. Not all men chase younger women, some love an older woman and vice versa, I mean most people know at least one “cougar” don’t they?! In terms of  bearing your heart and soul, reality tv seems shows us that people give very personal disclosure very soon in a relationship, sometimes even on a first date, and it’s seen as something special and attractive. As for online dating and dating apps, well I can tell you that as a wedding celebrant many couples met via dating apps!


So, there’s no fast magic formula’s to finding your ideal partner, although it’s fair to say communication is essential in making a relationship work, and last! But surely that’s good news? Maybe you don’t find love but it finds you, and sometimes in the most unusual places and circumstances. I know that can be frustrating news, but it’s also part of the excitement isn’t??!!

I mean….would you honestly want there to be a

scientific academic process to finding love?


About The Author


Amanda has taught about the psychology of love and relationships for over 25 years, she is now a celebrant and specialises in weddings. She helps couples have unforgettable and special weddings by working with them and creating personal and meaningful wedding ceremonies.

You can find her details at