Posted by: Dr. Helen Fisher
Topic: Do you think you can really and truly "feel" chemistry via email?
Yes, I think you can really and truly feel “chemistry” through email. The brain system for romantic love can be triggered by looking at a photograph, by hearing a voice, or by reading a letter, too--easily. We can fall in love with people we have never met. Take the teenager, for example, who falls in love with a rock star. In fact, I think email is a fine way to generate that magic. The trouble comes when you meet the person you have been writing. Looks count. As we grow up we build an unconscious list of things we are looking for in a mate, what I call your “love map” and what some other academics call your Ideal Mate Personality Concept. And if you meet someone who doesn’t fit within that template, you have a very difficult time adjusting to their looks and manner. Moreover, when you meet someone in person, you suddenly receive an awful lot of other new information that email can’t convey, like their smell, the sound of their words, their energy level, their social style, their degree of spontaneity or caution, and hundreds of other stimuli. So I think it is a good idea to move beyond email as fast as possible so that you can see if you are expending your precious metabolic energy on the love of your life or a Darwinian dead end.