Helen Fisher, PhD

Re-evaluate your “must have” list

Women are the picky sex.  And they probably always have been.  They bear the baby for nine months; and in every society on earth, women spend more time at infant care than men.  Not to say that men don’t have childcare duties.  For millions of years men’s job was to protect the family and provide hard won meat.  They got the dangerous jobs.  But women spend more time in direct care for the young—day and night.   And every year that we do our annual national survey of Singles in America with Match.com, we find that women are the picky sex.  They are more likely than men to say they must have a partner of the same ethnic background, same religion, and same educational level, someone who had a sense of humor, someone they can trust and confide in, someone comfortable in their sexuality and someone who can make them laugh.  All this sounds reasonable.

But then comes the little stuff, all the idiosyncratic wants that are harder to find.