should be so simple. You meet someone. You fall in love. If all goes well, that
person falls in love with you. And as the fairy tale says, you both live
happily ever after. But the reality is rarely so simple. My goal is to explore
why that is the case by taking a rational approach to that most irrational of
pursuits, the search for love. Imagine Jane Austen’s romances rewritten by
people like Charles Darwin and Adam Smith, and you will have some idea of what
sort of book this is. The simple premise behind Decoding Love is that,
despite our ingrained prejudice, our current model of finding love is deeply
flawed, and science can actually provide a great deal of insight into our
romantic quest. It will take something we think we know well—how to find
love—and reveal that many of our assumptions are wrong.
There are any number of shocking discoveries that researchers have uncovered in recent years. For instance, did you know that women generally make the first move in a bar? Or that men find women more attractive when they are ovulating? Or that human testicle size is an indication of how promiscuous women are? Or that scaring someone can spark as much attraction as seducing him or her? Or that the number of frogs you must kiss before finding your prince or princess is a dozen? Or that woman who wear a spicy-floral fragrance are judged to be twelve pounds lighter than they are? Or that some men have a gene that makes them more promiscuous? Or that a woman’s orgasms have little to do with love and everything to do with a strange metric known as symmetricality? Until I started my research, I certainly had no idea. Decoding Love is my attempt to bring all these fascinating discoveries to a broader public, a thinking woman's (and man's) guide to dating. Part of why I found this book so enjoyable to work on is that I gradually realized that the study of attraction is no less than the study of what makes us human.