Evolution Could Be Why You Suck at Dating

Who would ever think that evolution is why you suck at dating? For most of us, going through the experiences of disappointment and rejection are simply the necessary part of dating. There is no doubt that these feelings are very discouraging at times, but a brand new study reveals that these emotions could much more ordinary than they actually seem – even on the loneliest and darkest of nights.

New Realization about Dating

According to this study, scientists discovered that about 50% of those who are looking for soulmates have difficulty keeping or finding romantic companions. And if this fact describes your personal experience, the authors of this study are offering some encouragement – It is really not you who is at fault, it is evolution. 

“Nearly 1 in 2 individuals faces considerable difficulties in the domain of mating,” claims the leading author of the study Menelaos Apostolou, who is an associate professor of social sciences from the University of Nicosia in Cyprus. “In most cases, these difficulties are not due to something wrong or broken, but due to people living in an environment which is very different from the environment they evolved to function in.”

Large Data Pool

In this brand new report, which was posted online in the publication Personality and Individual Differences recently, Apostolou and his associates got input from almost 1,900 university students in regards to their own personal dating performances. These students had been asked how they felt about statements like “I find romantic relationships difficult” or “I find it easy to keep a romantic relationship.”

Scientists revealed that around 1 in 2 participants admitted it was difficult to both begin and continue a romantic relationship. Additionally, 1 in 5 said claimed they had difficulties in both starting and continuing relationships.

To look at this through an evolutionary prism, it appears to be counterintuitive that behaviors as vital as romantic relationships would be such a challenge for so many people. But all the reasons could very well be rooted in a social science item that is known as the “mismatch problem,” Apostolou recently said. Humans have proven that they are not particularly skilled at adjusted to changing conditions, and as a results, it can actually take several generations to alter their behavior, he furthered added. This means that when they finally adapt to new set of conditions, their surrounding environment could have already changed again – and it in ways that they were not expecting or even prepared for.

For people who are currently in the dating market, the technological and social increases over the last 200 years could be greater than the entire change that humans have been equipped to handle, Apostolou said.

“There are reasons to believe that most of the adaptations we carry with us today evolved in an environment where mate choice was more regulated — i.e., marriages were arranged,” Apostolou continued. (Arranged matrimony was actually very ordinary all over the world prior to the 18th century, and believe it or not, they still exist in certain cultures today.) “The environment has changed drastically and recently, so we had no time to adapt to modern conditions,” he added.

And there is certainly one such human trait that was better to have during the arranged courtship setting – and that is introversion, which is when a person is shy within social settings. This affliction actually applies to about 20% of the overall population. “Being very introverted and shy was not a problem in the past, because you would not have to go out finding a spouse,” Apostolou claimed. “Your parents would do so for you.”