Often times we are asked, ” Are some people wired to be poly, or is it a choice?” Well, in their book “Why We Love” Helen Fisher talks about several reasons for different love styles and partner connections. One of the most interesting is a part on brain architecture and infidelity. Taken from this TED blog is an excerpt we found very interesting. It is an interesting argument that some people may actually be neurologically constructed in a way that allows non-monogamous relationships to come more naturally and easier than others.
Love isn’t so much an emotion, says biological anthropologist Helen Fisher, as it is a brain system, one of three that’s related to mating and reproduction. It’s those other two systems that explain why human beings are capable of infidelity even as we so highly value love. Here Fisher explains more about cheating — why it occurs, how common it is and how a study shows it could potentially correlate to a gene.
Brain architecture may contribute to infidelity. Human beings have three primary brain systems related to love. 1) The sex drive evolved to motivate individuals to seek copulation with a range of partners;
2) romantic love evolved to motivate individuals to focus their mating energy on specific partners, thereby conserving courtship time and metabolic energy;
3) partner attachment evolved to motivate mating individuals to remain together at least long enough to rear a single child through infancy together.
These three basic neural systems interact with one another and other brain systems in myriad flexible, combinatorial patterns to provide the range of motivations, emotions and behaviors necessary to orchestrate our complex human reproductive strategy. But this brain architecture makes it biologically possible to express deep feelings of attachment for one partner, while one feels intense romantic love for another individual, while one feels the sex drive for even more extra-dyadic partners.
- Why We Love, by Helen Fisher