“’Love is blind,’ I get that, but sometimes love wants to fly first-class,” says Stacy’s father on the new season of Netflix’s hit dating show Love is Blind.
We’re still waiting for the conclusion, but— he’s not wrong.
When Stacy met Izzy, sparks flew— they got to know each other without seeing each other’s faces, but it becomes clear, as the season goes on, that their tax brackets are radically different, and so are their fundamental values when it comes to finances. In essence, Stacy found herself a man who wants to split the dinner bills with her.
As expected, the relationship declines from there; he gifts her a toilet plunger as an apology gift. She drives him around like she’s a soccer mom, and he has a game. It’s bad.
We know that money isn’t everything— love is vitally important, and so is chemistry. But it’s time we were honest with ourselves.
In this year of Tiktok and Instagram lifestyles being splashed across our phone screens with videos of getaways to Greek islands, of cheeky runway shots as a private jet waits in the background, of casual GRWM’s on super-yachts— we’re just going to say it: sometimes, love wants to fly first class.
The Neuroscience of Attraction
Studies have shown that attraction is associated with the release of various neurochemicals, such as dopamine, oxytocin, and serotonin. These chemicals play a significant role in feelings of infatuation and emotional connection. This initial surge of attraction can be intense, often leading to what is commonly described as the “honeymoon phase” in a relationship.
We’re our best selves, in this era. We say all the right things. We don’t act out. However, this is the best stage to see if your long term goals align; it’s better to have the difficult conversations, to ask about finances and your future together. You might find that the attraction starts to wane as you find cracks in the facade— or, the attraction might strengthen as you find that your goals match theirs.
Considering how Stacy broke it off with Izzy just before the wedding bells were about to ring, there’s something to be said for having those conversations before you’ve picked out a wedding dress.
Hypergamy: A Historical Perspective
One historical concept that intersects with early infatuation is hypergamy. Hypergamy refers to the practice of seeking a partner of higher social, economic, or educational status. While it is crucial to acknowledge that modern relationships are far more complex and nuanced, evolutionary psychology suggests that hypergamy may have roots in our ancestral past.
In the context of early infatuation, hypergamy can influence how individuals perceive potential partners. Research has indicated that individuals may be more attracted to those who offer perceived stability and the potential for a secure future, aligning with the concept of hypergamy.
We’re naturally driven towards wanting an upgrade, we want to display a relationship we’re proud of— humanity is a competitive species.
The Romantic Influence of Financial Stability
In today’s world, financial stability plays a pivotal role in shaping our early infatuation. A study conducted by the Pew Research Center in 2019 found that financial stability is a significant factor in dating and relationship decisions. It revealed that 78% of adults believe that financial stability is essential in a romantic partner.
Financial stability offers a sense of security. When individuals perceive financial stability in someone they are attracted to, it can intensify early infatuation. This heightened attraction often results from the subconscious recognition that the partner can provide for a more secure future. In the distant past, physical prowess was the benchmark for attraction— in 2023, this is no longer the case. Now, factors like emotional intelligence, intellect, and success are the defining characteristics of a partner who can care for the household, and who can ensure longevity for a family.
The Aftereffects of Future Financial Stability
The concept of future prospects extends beyond financial stability. It encompasses various aspects, including career aspirations, personal goals, and lifestyle ambitions. Partners who share similar or complementary future prospects are more likely to experience early infatuation that has the potential to lead to lasting connections.
The distinction between instant attraction and long-term infatuation is pivotal in understanding the dynamics of early relationships. Instant attraction, often driven by physical chemistry, can be incredibly intense but may also have a relatively short lifespan.
There’s a saying in Japan that goes like this: “花より団子”
“Hana yori dango”is a Japanese proverb that translates as “dumplings rather than flowers.” It captures the idea of prioritizing practical needs or tangible benefits (like food, represented by the “dango” or dumplings) over aesthetics or superficial beauty (flowers).
It’s summarized as this: practical love will always win over flowers that die soon after.
A study published in the “Journal of Social and Personal Relationships” in 2020 found that relationships founded on shared values, future goals, and financial stability were more likely to lead to lasting satisfaction and commitment. The study surveyed over 2,000 participants in various stages of relationships, shedding light on the importance of these factors in the longevity of infatuation.
Dopamine equally plays a role in that early infatuation, however, Dopamine has a tendency to hit hard, and then drop fast. In Seeking’s Dopamine Dating study, it was found that 47% of participants experienced a rapid Dopamine drop with a partner after the initial infatuation wore off; the temporary hit causes something like a high, but fades just as fast as it rushed in.
In the end, as we navigate the ups and downs of modern dating, where feelings, financial stability, and shared dreams mix, we’re reminded of Stacy’s dad’s words: sometimes, love just wants to fly first class.
There, we said it again. And, we’re going to keep saying it— honestly, you should too.
It’s a simple truth that in the world of infatuation, reminds us that love isn’t separate from the practical side of life.
Why let yourself be controlled by your Dopamine levels, when lasting, true Dopamine hits could be just around the corner? And they might own a custom Italian yacht that’s docked off the coast of Monaco.
We invite you to mull this over, preferably while scrolling through some Seeking profiles, and certainly not at your local dive bar.
Remember: dumplings over flowers— but on Seeking, you can find both.