There is a very interesting article over at DamnInteresting.com titled "Guppy Love" that's both entertaining and thought-provoking. It begins with the unscientific observation that some women tend to prefer men who are already "spoken for" (a tendency also known as the wedding ring effect), and goes on to compare this human trait to "mate choice copying" in - of all things - guppies.
I blogged about this general topic some time back when I was set off by a post at Numeric Life about women's thought processes in choosing men for long-term mates (dads) or short-term recreational relationships (cads). The new article puts a somewhat different spin on this aspect of our behavior, though...why would a woman pursue a man who is already married or in a committed relationship?
Well, duh, you say - it's the thrill of the hunt, the idea that I'm better than she is and I can prove it by going after her partner. There may also be a certain element of I can flirt with him and it's safe because he's married and things can't go too far.
And the same is true, of course, of men - some men of low character seem to find a certain thrill in illicit liaisons that makes them that much more exciting, not to mention the chest-thumping potential of out-testosteroning the competition: I'm the man - she prefers me to him! Or hey, look at me - I've still got it!
For the record, I think people who try to steal other people's spouses are despicable. But I think I understand some of the psychological issues that could drive people to it. Friendships are perfectly fine - as it happens, most of my close friends are women, although I'm completely and utterly committed to Agnes. I'm also a shameless flirter, which is not a bad thing when you're married to a dance teacher and do duty at the dance parties as the staff gigolo, dancing with all the ladies who don't have partners.
Well, this post has turned into a bit of a ramble, but my brain isn't totally warmed up yet this morning. I'm also facing the prospect of a dull, day-long meeting which isn't conducive to getting me up and hitting on all cylinders.
Be careful with your mate choice selections. It's not a good idea to go after one that's already spoken for.
Unless you're a guppy.
Have a good day. More thoughts tomorrow.
P.S. - I'm really looking forward to attending the Enterprise Christmas Party over at Captain Picard's Journal. Hope to see you all there!