Helen on NBC The Cycle

Why We Choose Monogamy

A fossil discovery sheds new light on the history of human pairing   By Helen Fisher Among the traditional Cashinahua Indians of Brazil, marriage is a casual affair.  After a young woman gets her father’s permission, she asks her husband-to-be to visit her in her hammock after the family is asleep.  He must be gone by daylight.  But gradually […]Read More

The Power of Eureka

DEK: That little voice that nudges you when you’re stuck between two choices? It’s real, says Helen Fisher, PhD.  You’re introduced to a new colleague, and instantly sense that the two of you will become friends. Or you’re faced with a difficult decision, and suddenly you feel the right answer in your gut. Intuition can […]Read More

INTIMACY: Are men and women on the same page?

“What is intimacy to you?”  Recently I asked this to a man.  He replied, “Doing things with you.”  Most of us have a primal craving to know and be truly known  by someone before we die, to build a deeply committed relationship based on honesty, trust, self disclosure, interdependence, respect, appreciation and togetherness.   But the sexes often define intimacy differently.  When […]Read More

Humor…a hidden aphrodisiac.

I’ll take a man with a wry, quick wit over a handsome man any day.  A perpetually serious partner, or one whose sense of humor is crude or childish is, for me, a deal-breaker. So Chemistry.com and I did a study of more than 1,000 members to see how others felt about humor in courtship.   We asked […]Read More

Holiday Breakups

The holiday season can be very difficult for those in new relationships. You can become embarrassed at how your partner acts around your relatives. Or you show up at his/her family event and everyone ignores you—even your partner.  Some partners even vanish into their family world, forgetting you entirely.  So it’s not surprising that some 76% […]Read More

Why do men lie about their height and women lie about their weight?

Courtship is not about honesty; it’s about winning.  Don’t get me wrong:  honesty pays off—big time.  But I’m not surprised that men lie about their height and women lie about their weight.  No courting moose tries to make his antlers look smaller: he shows them off.    So it is with us. We lie to win life’s greatest prize: a mating partner.  And […]Read More

The irresistible golfer: why?

Golf is the ultimate gentleman’s game — and women crave a gentleman.  In the bedroom, with her parents, with their future children, in almost any social situation: women want a gent.  And to play the game of golf well, you need to be patient, calm under pressure, well dressed, orderly, and honorable — because golf runs […]Read More


Gift giving time is coming.  O my.  Scientists know a lot about giving gifts to grandma, your school chums, your office buddies, even your spouse. You can’t go wrong if you give them what they want.  As it turns out, the thought’s not always the thing; it’s often the gift that counts.  Yet a very thoughtful gift can be […]Read More


With the shortening days of autumn, melatonin elevates in the brain—making people more sluggish and eager to lounge at home, preferably with a sweetheart.  Then testosterone rises in November, triggering even more desire to snuggle with a lover.  By then, the “cuffing season” is in full bloom.Read More


Big boys don’t cry.  It’s true.  Men are far less likely to shed tears than women in all countries where this has been surveyed, including the vastly different cultures of the United States, India, China and Japan.  And although men are often characterized as stunted, shallow, aloof, emotionally stingy or lacking compassion, men’s “emotional containment,” as scientist’s call […]Read More