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#60: Helen Fisher on the Biological Imperative to Love

podcast November 1, 2022

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This week, THE IDEALISTS. podcast host and entrepreneur Melissa Kiguwa speaks with world-renowned Biological Anthropologist, Dr. Helen Fisher. As the Chief Science Advisor for Match.com and as one of the foremost researchers in the area of the neuroscience of love, sex, and relationships, Helen has conducted extensive research and written six books on the evolution and future of human sex, love, marriage, and gender differences in the brain. As a Senior Research Fellow at The Kinsey Institute, she studies extensively how personality style shapes who you are and who you love.

In this rich, revelatory episode, Helen and Melissa dive deep into Helen’s vast, peer-reviewed learnings around the science of romantic love, attachment, and the evolution of courtship.


– Helen leads off the episode by painting a picture of the history of gender roles and relationship paradigms as the human race shifted from a hunter-gatherer society to an agrarian one, and then evolved again with the industrial age to where we are now.

– Next, she discusses her broad sweeping research survey across a sample of millions. While the neurology of love is largely the same across culture, race, and sexual preference, courtship continues to evolve in new and compelling ways—from shifts in power dynamics of arranged marriages to those of video chat dates during the pandemic.

– Building on that, she discusses the different relational dynamics at play with the different brain systems and chemicals involved, when it comes to romance, sexual attraction, and deep attachment. She also touches on the different personality types who tend to do better together.

– Lastly, she shares her audacious wish for her work in personality science to break new ground in the business space. She believes understanding mother nature’s recipe for the brain can help in how we reach different people, build better teams, lead, innovate, and ultimately win.

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