Untitled Document Dear Lucia,

Why do women say they want a man that will treat them well and be good to them but will almost always end up with someone who is exactly the opposite? I have had a few relationships but I have been left for some pretty bad guys. I have a good job, my own home and I am a decent person.


Dear Pablo,

The answer to your question is actually a lot more complicated than one might think. We are going to have to blame Mother Nature for this seemingly illogical behavior.

In his book, Sperm Wars, Robin Baker says that humans are biologically driven to ensure their genetic survival. Males want to ensure that their genes inseminate; females want to ensure they are impregnated by the best possible genes available.

If you ask women what type of guy they’re looking for, they’ll usually say they want someone honest, faithful, ambitious, intelligent, etc. However, this is not what they are usually attracted to. Women are attracted to a man’s personality above all else, and will use this as a measuring stick of his genetic superiority or lack thereof.

A dominant male personality is generally preferred over a male that is submissive. The former is sending an unconscious message that he has great genes and is not afraid of losing the woman by misbehaving. The latter is sending a message that he doesn’t think his genes are good enough, so he’ll put up with just about anything.

We also need to consider the "Triune Brain Theory." In 1973, Dr. Paul MacLean, senior research scientist at the National Institute of Mental Health, proposed that the brain is made up of three subdivisions corresponding to three evolutionary eras.

The first, most primal part of the brain is the reptilian. It is responsible for mating and territorial behavior, pecking order, defense, aggression and the emotions of anger and fear.

The second part of the brain to develop was the limbic brain. Love, sadness, jealousy and hope originate here. It controls heartbeat, temperature, blood pressure and the flow of neurotransmitters, all of which are affected by the presence of someone we’re attracted to. Sexual stimuli passes directly to it. It is impulsive and instinctual. It is not receptive to reason and analysis.

The newest part of our brain, the neo-cortex, permits higher functions of logic, thought, language, planning, reasoning and critical judgement.

In "The Emotional Brain," Joseph LeDoux points out that the first two, older brains have a greater influence on the neo-cortex than vice-versa, "making it possible for emotional arousal to dominate and control thinking. Although thoughts can easily trigger emotions we are not very effective at turning emotions off."

This means that the lower limbic system, which rules emotions, can hijack the higher mental functions when it needs to. It says, "You’ve found The One." The neo-cortex responds with, "Yes, but he seems to drink too much, I’ve caught him lying and he doesn’t have a job." The limbic says, "I can live with that. He’s so handsome and it feels so wonderful when I’m with him."

You can see how even though a woman may say she wants a nice guy, that is not necessarily who she is attracted to. A great example of this is food. Do we make our choices based on what’s good for us or on what tastes good? This is what is happening when a woman chooses someone that makes her feel good, but is not good for her.

The solution? Men need to find a happy medium between being a bad guy and being a wimp. Be strong and take charge, but know when to be more sensitive and yielding.

Women? They need to date a few bad boys to see that the emotional high they get from being with them isn’t worth the pain and sadness that ultimately ensues. Only then will they be able to turn the tables on the limbic brain and make a logical choice.

REMEMBER: Love inspires, empowers, uplifts and enlightens.

Write to Lucia at: www.theartoflove.net

Watch Lucia’s show, "The Art of Love," on Comcast Public Access on Thursday, Jan. 12 at 8 p.m.

The Art of Love is sponsored by: Twisted Elegance Boutique, 7407 and 7560 Melrose Ave.