HowTo:Succeed in love with science

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~ Jesse on scientific dating advice


  1. Be well-groomed. If you can't even take care of yourself, chances are you couldn't take care of a mate or offspring either. Grooming is a potential parental-investment indicator and plays a role in courtship/flirtation.[1]
  2. Don't shower right before your pair bonding event and don't use strong perfume or deodorant. Your potential mate has a nose which has evolutionary been used to sniff out good and bad traits in potential mating material. Work is done on detecting diseases like Parkinson and even cancer using smell, though it's not certain (all) humans could detect those smells.[2][3] More commonly, humans can olfactorily detect blood-related kin.[4] In layman's terms: your stink stops you from dating your siblings, even when you're not aware they are your siblings!
  3. Don't shave your armpit hair. Compared to other primates, humans have extensive axillary hair and have many odor producing sources, in particular many apocrine glands.[5] It helps to distribute the smell that communicates the compatibility between you and your potential mate.
  4. Sweat. At least a little, for the same reason. Just in case you didn't get what those apocrine glands were. Takeesha Roland-Jenkins, a professional consultant for a sex therapy clinic, says that it's possible we rely almost entirely on scent when picking a mate. “A number of people actually choose their partners by subconsciously being attracted to the scent of another person’s pheromones".[6]
  5. Acquire a familiar smell by any means possible. If you can figure out a smell that your potential mate has a positive association with, give your clothes some of that smell. This doesn't have to be anything that smells good, it just has to be something your procreation candidate feels comfortable around. Don't overdo it as that may give rise to suspicion if you can't explain the smell. You might even go so far as acquiring a subtle hint of the smell of an ex-mate that your offspring production candidate still has feelings for. Smell is capable of triggering intense emotion.[7]
  6. Get facial surgery to increase the symmetry of your face. Symmetry is perceived as beauty.[8] Avoid perfect symmetry as you just might fall into the Uncanny valley otherwise. Towards your potential mate, surgery is deceptive, but that's nothing new. At least you're not as bad as planidium larvae. Planidium larvae of some beetles of the genus Meloe can form a group and produce a pheromone to mimic the mating attractant of its host bee species. Once a male bee comes and makes an attempt to mate with the mass of larvae, they climb onto its abdomen. Following that, they can transfer to a female bee, and from the female bee to the bee nest and parasitize the bee larvae.[9]


  1. Coffee beats ice cream. Offer your potential mate something hot. No, not that, at least not yet. And make sure they have to hold it in their hands. Buying fast food and then going for a walk while eating is perfect. The amygdala will mistake the heat in their hands for human contact, so if it's too early or awkward to hold hands comfortably, you can at least trick the brain of your ticket to procreation into thinking they are.[10]
  2. Drug your potential mate. If you know that your designated candidate for distribution of your DNA among the gene pool is using antidepressant drugs, caffeine may enhance the effect of those drugs.[11] If your possible semen/egg provider is a habituated smoker, ensure to go to a place that will allow them to indulge in their habit to avoid withdrawal symptoms.
  3. If your potential mate does all of the above, run. If your copulation option has meticulously followed all of these steps, run. They read this guide and you are clearly dating a manipulative psychopath. Or don't run, we're not judging.


  1. Holly Nelson, Glenn Geher (2007-09-15). "Mutual Grooming in Human Dyadic Relationships: An Ethological Perspective". Current Psychology. 
  2. Ann Pietrangelo, medically reviewed by Yamini Ranchod, PhD, MS (2019-08-06). "Is It Possible to Smell Cancer?". Healthline. 
  3. Chris Gilbert, M.D., Ph.D. (2018-09-22). "Can Humans smell cancer?". Psychology Today. 
  4. R H Porter, J M Cernoch, R D Balogh (March 1985). "Odor Signatures and Kin Recognition". Physiol Behav. 
  5. S. Craig Roberts and Jan Havlicek. "Evolutionary psychology and perfume design". In (2011) Applied Evolutionary Psychology. Oxford University Press. DOI:10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199586073.001.0001.
  6. Gigi Engle (2017-02-23). "Why Your Partner Smells So Freaking Good, According To Science". Bustle. 
  7. Ashley Hamer (2018-01-31). "Here's Why Smells Trigger Such Vivid Memories". Curiosity. 
  8. Grammer, K.; Thornhill, R. (October 1994). "Human (Homo sapiens) facial attractiveness and sexual selection: the role of symmetry and averageness". Journal of Comparative Psychology. 108 (3): 233–42. doi:10.1037/0735-7036.108.3.233. PMID 7924253. Retrieved 4 May 2019. 
  9. Saul-Gershenz, L. S.; Millar, J. G. (2006). "Phoretic nest parasites use sexual deception to obtain transport to their host's nest". Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences. 103 (38): 14039–14044. Bibcode:2006PNAS..10314039S. doi:10.1073/pnas.0603901103. PMC 1599908Freely accessible. PMID 16966608. 
  10. Ed Yong (2008-10-26). "Warm hands, warm heart - how physical and emotional warmth are linked". Discover. 
  11. Aleksandra Szopa, Ewa Poleszak, corresponding author Elżbieta Wyska, Anna Serefko, Sylwia Wośko, Aleksandra Wlaź, Mateusz Pieróg, Andrzej Wróbel, and Piotr Wlaź (2015-11-27). "Caffeine enhances the antidepressant-like activity of common antidepressant drugs in the forced swim test in mice". PMC.