Author Helen Fisher says that knowing what you like and who you are can help you navigate the dating scene

I have a type, you have a type, we all have a type. As you might imagine, my green-eyed, brown-haired, 5’10-6′ British dream boy is fairly impossible to find on an average day in LA. But what draws me to this ideal, and why? Anthropologist Helen Fisher claims to know, and has even built a theory based on genetics and neurochemistry for her latest book, Why Him? Why Her?: Finding Real Love by Understanding Your Personality Type, which is based on the assumption that we fall for the same kind of guy over and over again. So what’s your type?

According to Fisher, we’re all attracted to one of four kinds of guys: the Builder, the Explorer, the Negotiator and the Director. However, her theory isn’t based upon understanding the man himself, but understanding why we fall for him.

So where did this concept come from? “I looked at the genetic literature and as it turns out there are only a few chemicals that seem to be directly related to personality traits. I came to believe we’ve evolved four very broad personality styles associated with the chemicals dopamine, serotonin, testosterone, and estrogen and oxytocin,” Fisher told YourTango, adding, “And these four chemical types I call the Explorer, the Builder, the Director, and the Negotiator.”

Which are what, exactly?

THE EXPLORER expresses activity in the dopamine system and tends to be a risk-taking, novelty-seeking, curious, creative, spontaneous, energetic, enthusiastic and optimistic kind of person.

THE BUILDER is synonymous with serotonin. Builders are calm, social, popular, cautious but fearless. They’re managerial types who are good at networking. Family is important to them; they are traditional, conventional and often religious.

THE DIRECTOR is expressive of testosterone. They’re direct, decisive, tough-minded and love music.  They’re competitive, ambitious and very good at spatial relations.

THE NEGOTIATOR is expressive of estrogen — and this applies to both women and men. These people see the big picture. They’re very flexible, imaginative and intuitive. They’re compassionate and verbal.

But who do we go for?

According to Fisher, Explorers are attracted to energetic risk-takers like themselves, just as Builders choose people that are as structured and traditional as they are. But the Director—the high testosterone type— is attracted to the high estrogen of the Negotiator (think Bill and Hillary Clinton).

Best of all, the anthropologist says there are no bad matches, per se, just some that are better than others (which I don’t personally believe, but hey, she’s the one who conducted the scientific study, after all).

Do you believe you can find your perfect match by narrowing him down to one of four types? I’m skeptical and cynical, but then, I am about most things. My friend Jonathan suggested correctly last night that I’m a romantic at heart, but I’m also a realist. I don’t think you can fit people into perfect little boxes that easily.

Laura xo

To discover your type, take the quiz HERE

For the record, I’m an Explorer/Negotiator (traits below)

As an Explorer you like knowledge, adventure and the pleasures of the senses, and you are drawn to those who are enthusiastic, curious, creative and energetic-people like yourself. Sex is important to you, too. As a Negotiator, you have a big heart; you are flexible and sensitive to the feelings of others and you are driven to seek harmony in your social life. So you avoid conflict, as well as people who compete with you. You also avoid those who structure your time and block things from happening spontaneously. And you can feel pressured by other’s needs. So you are attracted to individuals who share your “live and let live” attitude. Money is secondary to you, so you also respect individuals who can part with theirs, particularly when spending leads to adventure or improves the world. And you are drawn to people who are direct, decisive and tough minded to balance out your flexible, spontaneous, intuitive style.

But damn it all, this STILL doesn’t tell me why I go for green-eyed Brits!

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8 Responses
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  4. Jessica says:

    Justin should hold onto his single status for as long as humanly possible. I’m having a ball since embracing the single lifestyle. Being tied to just one woman can be extremely stressful.

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