PodcastDr. Ty Tashiro, “The Science of Happily Ever After”

March 16, 2014by Frank Love0


Podcast Episode:
What if you only got three wishes in love? What would they be? Let’s discuss … on this edition of Frank Relationships.



Guests: Dr. Ty Tashiro
Date: March 16, 2014

Frank: What if you only had three wishes in love? What would they be? Let’s discuss, on this edition of Frank Relationships.

Welcome to Frank Relationships where we provide a candid fresh and frank look into relationships with goals of acceptance, respect and flexibility. I’m Frank Love and you can find me, my blog and my various social media incarnations at: franklove.com. You can also download the podcast of this and other archive shows on iTunes or with your favorite podcast app.

Once again I’m proud to have my co pilot with me, the Rev Coach, La Tonia. What’s up co-pilot?

La Tonia: Good day.

Frank: How are you doing?

La Tonia: I’m great, grand and wonderful. What about you?

Frank: Say it again.

La Tonia: Great, grand and wonderful.

Frank: Great, grand and wonderful and we’re coming to you a week after talking about suicide, teenage suicide. That was quite a conversation. I got to tell you, Michael Bushman, he really shined some light on some interesting things. And if you–

La Tonia: Yes.

Frank: Missed last week’s show check it out. And you in the show noted that you had some issues, some thoughts of that nature when you were a child when your parents divorced.

La Tonia: Yeah, I hope that one day, we’ll do a show on empaths, because I didn’t know then. I was a very sensitive child and my parents divorce affected me deeply and now as an adult with all the work that I’ve done it makes sense, but it did not make sense when I was a teenager or a preteen. It really was a preteen. So yeah, I could relate to that story a little bit.

Frank: Very nice, very nice. It’s nice in that we’re talking about things that matter and they matter to not just the listening audience, but they touch our lives too and–

La Tonia: Yes.

Michael: It’s a pleasure to be doing powerful work.

La Tonia: Yeah, because adults forget.

Frank: Yeah, yeah and we can often find ourselves alone and hurting.

La Tonia: Yes.

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Today’s guest is the author of The Science of Happily Ever After and he’s a relationship expert for the Discovery Network’s fit and health channel. There he writes weekly articles about the science of love. He’s also an affiliate of The Research Faculty at the Center for Addition Personality and Emotion Research at the University of Maryland. That’s a mouthful.

He received his Ph.D. in psychology from the University of Minnesota and was awarded professor of the year at the University of Maryland and University of Colorado. He’s none other than Dr. Ty Tashiro. Welcome to the show.

Ty: Hey, thanks for having me on. I appreciate it.

La Tonia: Welcome.

Frank: What led you to write a book about the science of love and who told you that there was a science to love?

Ty: That’s a good question. I didn’t know there was one and I went to graduate school at the University of Minnesota to study stress, actually and it turns out Minnesota houses some of the best relationship researchers in the world, actually. And I took graduate class up there, I just thought that was exciting, that you could apply social science methods to try understand something that seemed to me to be sometimes a chaotic and unknowable process, like romantic love. That’s what got me into it from the start.

Frank: Can you lose the art of relationships by focusing on the research or the science of it?

Ty: Absolutely, and you can definitely over-think things and I think we all have friends like that. They’re up in their head too much and just don’t appreciate the moment. I always think that’s too bad, because what emotional experiences do we have in our life that feel as positive as romantic relationships, especially when they’re first get going, so to see people over-think it or overanalyze it, I think that can be too bad.

Frank: But none of that’s going on in Minnesota, right?

Ty: Even the best of us can do it sometimes, but we try our best not to. I think it’s just, if you look at on the balance, I think a lot of times all of us, me included, we can get so emotional in good ways sometimes about our romantic relationships, but when we’re in such an emotional state, almost purely emotional state, it’s hard for us to think clearly and som times we’re not motivated actually to think clearly or think very hard about what’s going on.

I think that’s where the value is of taking the scientific approach is just adding some of that structure and having some of that critical thinking to the process so that people aren’t getting in situations that are bad for them in the long run.

Frank: What are some of the shocking things that you’ve found in your experience on the emotional side and on the research side?

Michael: Sure. I think one of the things that’s interesting and maybe blends a little bit of each of those things is, when we’re in that passionate love, in those first few months when we’re falling in love with somebody, you’ve got the heart pounding and butterflies in the stomach and all of that going on, a lot of people say, “Love is blind” during that phase and we have neural imaging studies now, that can watch the brain in motion, when people are thinking about their romantic partner and they’re in that passionate love.

It’s kind of a disaster up there in the brain and what’s going on. It’s great in a sense that the positive emotion centers are really activated, sexual interest centers are very activated, but you look at the parts of the brain that’s responsible for critical thinking or for planning and they’re not on at all. In fact, it’s harder to turn those parts of the brain on when we’re in that state. I thought that was neat way to just capture this thing that has been captured by literature and the arts more and to see it in a more scientific way.

Frank: Where do you have fun with the research that you’re doing or where do you have fun in conversations? Undoubtedly people that you’re going to run into or friends of yours are going to ask you, what your opinion is about a given x, y and z. Do you find yourself giving therapy or do you find yourself giving the “expert opinion” to friends?

Ty: That’s an interesting conundrum that I do run into and I always tell people that I’ve had some of the longest haircuts ever, because I sit down in that chair and I’ve got short hair, it’s nothing complicated. It probably takes 15 or 20 minutes and I’ve had some two hour hair cuts in my life. People can definitely get talking to you about their love problems.

Sometimes people who are apologetic, they’re like, “Hey, I’m sorry to burden you or whatever,” and I always say and this is sincere, I just, “It doesn’t bother me.” I enjoy the topic. I think I’m lucky to have found something that I really find interesting, I really enjoy doing and talking about.

I don’t mind that. I also have to say though that sometimes when people ask me what I do, I’ll just say I’m a social science writer, something like that, just to stay off the topic.

La Tonia: Right.

Frank: Right.

La Tonia: Right, I can relate.

Ty: Yeah, exactly. It does come up a lot, but as a psychologist you’re in a little bit of an ethical bind too, because and potentially a legal bind–

Frank: Whoa.

Ty: In the sense that you can’t get too far into it and because now you’re actually administering a treatment and let’s say something goes wrong. Let’s say you make the wrong call or you give the wrong advice, you could be held liable for that, even though that person wasn’t officially–

Frank: Your patient.

Ty: Your client.

La Tonia: Wow.

Ty: That’s right, so–

La Tonia: Given that, can you give us an example of your research again? The barbershop might not be the best place, but I’m sure that you have some case studies or some examples.

Ty: Sure. One of the first things we do in the book as far as some of that research is talking about the studies where they find that people wish for too many traits or characteristics in their partner and they end up getting very little of what’s actually important to them, as far as traits and characteristics.

Frank: Does that mean they don’t know what’s important to them and that the list isn’t what they really want or does it mean the list is too exhaustive and it’s too long to matter?

Ty: Right, right. I think it’s more often the case, the latter thing said, where let’s say you’re wishing for 30 different characteristics of your ideal mate and those aren’t rank ordered very clearly in your head. You could end up getting, let’s say your 25th your 28th and your 30th ranked traits, but then you miss one, two and three. And so we say you just want to be crystal clear about what those top things are so that you can be sure to give those the attention that they deserve and we have this kind of mental short cut to say that you get three wishes for your ideal romantic partner and what we mean by that is, that want to identify the three traits or characteristics that are most important to you and not really settling. I’d say in fact, is being stubborn about getting the things that you really want and are really most important to you.

Frank: Is it possible that we don’t really know what’s most important to us until we actually find someone that we have a chemistry with and then we can identify what in that person we connected with?

Ty: I think so and that’s when dating goes well, I think that’s what it looks like. It’s this trial and error sort of thing and of course that can be painful sometimes going through that trial and error, but you just don’t know a lot of times when you’re younger, when you’re a teen or whatever. We have ideas from our culture or from media about what the love should be or what it should look like.

La Tonia: Right.

Ty: One of the things I tried to do when sat down to write this book is that, I wanted to keep it so that people can make their own decisions that are best to them and provide some structure and some advice, but I think everybody’s different and people got to figure out, “Hey, if I just sit down and think hard about this, what’s the best way for me to go, based on my own preferences and based on what I need?”

La Tonia: Now is it just thinking though? I heard you mention dating and is it just thinking, because it’s easy to do a lot of thinking when you’re single, but I find that–

Ty: Oh yeah.

La Tonia: I find that this culture is becoming so far removed from experiencing one another, relating to people, handling conflict. I’m a life coach and I also, I have a degree in psychology so–

Frank: Wait a second, how’s our audience–how do people find you life coach, real quick? We don’t really do this often.

La Tonia: They can find me at rebirthinternational.net and please like my Facebook page at facebook.com/RebirthbyLaToniaTaylor.

Frank: That’s right, support my co-host. Okay, I’m sorry. I’m rude.

La Tonia: Are you there?

Frank: Yes, go on finish your question. I through off your train of thought clearly.

La Tonia: Oh no, that was it. That was the question, because I hear the thinking about–and let me just tell you I run a program called, Juicy Spirit. Women make lots of lists. You’re in my lane on my street right now, but they’re so afraid to get out there. What do you think about that in experiencing your research?

Ty: Sure. I guess my opinion about that and I think that’s a great point, because that gets a bit into the over-thinking side of things and I think the time, at least for me and my opinion, when that’s the most sad to see is when people are now in a relationship and they should be experiencing it, they should just be fully present. One of the things I think is good is for people to do some of that thinking between relationships, because it’s just hard to get that clarity in a relationship, whether things are going extremely well, when you have that passionate love or it really conflicts a little with each other or maybe have some resentment. It’s hard to think clearly sometimes in those situations too.

I think for dating people, getting some of those things straight in between, but I think you’re right that it can sometimes then make people like deer in head lights and they won’t take any of the action necessary then to go out and find that person that they want.

Frank: Analysis paralysis.

Ty: That’s right, exactly.

Frank: I did a presentation at [Copan] 15:55 sp University recently and one of the questions that I was asked, had to do with that list that we’re talking about. My response was, “I don’t really believe in the list,” because I think in any given point in time, we’re astute and smart enough to know when something or some experience that we’re in, doesn’t work for us.

I don’t need to put on my list that I want a woman who has a sense of humor. At any given moment in time a sense of humor, it matters and I so don’t have to whip out my list and see, “Oh yeah, that’s right, sense of humor.” I’m present to the experience that I’m having right then and so I am not a proponent of the list. What are your thoughts on that take?

Ty: I’ve heard both sides of this and I think that sometimes people don’t need a list and my guess would be, you’re a guy who thought a lot about this. You’ve thought a lot about relationships and about love and this is what you do, right and I think you’ve given it a lot of thought and it could be the case that your intuition is naturally well-attuned and good. There’s other situations that I think where people’s intuitions sometimes takes them down the wrong path and consistently takes them down the wrong path.

I’ve got friends, for example, I imagine you all do too, where they choose the worst partners time and time again and they’re a good person. They’re a good smart person and they keep choosing these people that have a list of characteristics that are just destructive or abusive or not good for them. And I think in those situations yeah, then I think you want to give it some thought, “Hey what’s been on my list, how that has been working out for me and what do I need to adjust to try to take myself in a different direction.”

To answer your question Frank, I think it goes on a continuum, where some people are just naturally good at doing this and other people are pretty bad at it and based on where they fall on the continuum, I think then the list comes more into play.

Frank: Okay.

La Tonia: I have to play angels advocate here a little bit, because I’ve been married more than once and I’ve done the lists and you do these lists, but what stands out for me is the loaded part that says, “happily ever after.” I know we might be ramping up to it, but I am chomping at the bit to get to this, because I believe that people think there’s a guarantee in love and when you chose those words, what made you offer “happily ever after?”

Ty: It’s a good question. Part of it is that one of the things they do in the first chapter is we go into some of the analysis of children’s fairytales actually and–

Frank: Here, here. I have done that too in my book, but go on.

La Tonia: [Oh, dear] 19:11

Ty: So, we’ve got some things to talk about then. It’s fascinating, right?

Frank: Yeah and–

Ty: I was going to say, those are the first love stories we hear and we hear them from a very early age, three or four years old and that’s great and they’re happy stories. The prince and the princess live happily ever after and that sounds good. However, there’s all kinds of beliefs embedded in those tales and they’re pretty consistent across of different fairytales that your ideal mate just magically appears, that you’re now bound by this love and once you overcome whatever obstacles there were in the plot, then you live happily ever after and that’s where it ends. Of course, as adults who would say, well there’s a very long appendix of that story.

Frank: Right.

Ty: Yeah, but then if you look at teenage stories like, The Twilight series, for example, but there’s many more like that, those notions of faded love that just magically endures continue and then Gallop did a great poll a couple years ago and they found that 88 percent of people in the United States believe in that ideal, where there’s a one and only that magically appears and just fate will make you live happily ever after. And of course–

La Tonia: Right.

Ty: They know that’s not true. But to me, I was like, “Wow, that’s a very powerful place to start and a very embedded place to start as your beliefs about how things are supposed to go.”

Frank: What I add to the fairytale conversation is a lot of young ladies grow up wanting to be princesses and swooned and married and just taken care of for the rest of their life, again happily ever after. And a lot of young men grow up wanting to be heroes. They want to be Spiderman and Batman. We want to go to war and kill the bad guy and at the end of the day, come home to the loving wife with the music going. So, they both can lead to some serious destruction. There are a lot of males that are dead as a result of wanting to go to war, to be the hero and there are a lot of young ladies with “broken hearts” that bought into that. Now there’s space where the male story can be the female story also.

There are a lot of males with broken hearts who have done their share of participating in that and there are a lot of females that are dead too, attempting to be heroes. But in just generalizing, that’s what I found.

Ty: I think that’s true. If you don’t end up being the hero or you don’t end up being in passionate love for the next 50 years of your life magically, it’s disappointing and that’s a lot of disappointment. A long ways to fall from what the ideal is.

Frank: Yeah.

La Tonia: Not just disappointment Ty, right? Wouldn’t you say that many of these folks are handicapped, literally disabled. I know that I was until I took on myself, my life, my conversations, my beliefs. I really could have been handicapped with the conformity of love, the way love is presented.

Ty: Yeah.

Frank: Ouch.

Ty: Absolutely and I think people plug themselves into the institution of marriage sometimes, just because that’s what they’re supposed to do–

La Tonia: Right.

Ty: By a certain point and they’re plugging in any old person that’ll do.

Frank: I’ve been there.

Ty: That’s being stuck. Yeah, that’s a tough situation.

La Tonia: Say “ouch” or “amen.”

Frank: Yep, I can say both.

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You’re listening to Frank Relationships. We’re talking with Dr. Ty Tashiro, the author of The Science of Happily Ever After and a relationship expert who writes weekly articles about the science of love. Dr. Tashiro, please tell our listeners how we and they can find you.

Ty: They can find me at my website which is tytashiro.net and there’s more about The Science of Happily Ever After on the site and also we keep a log of the articles I do over at Discovery Health there. They can connect with me on Twitter too @tytashiro.

Frank: Alright. What do people normally wish for when choosing a partner? Are there some standards, are there some common characteristics that you just look at and yawn like. “You again,” you know?

Ty: Exactly, exactly. There are. At the start I think there’s a difference between what people say they want and what people actually go for when you watch what they do. In studies where they ask people what do you want in your ideal partner, they’ll say things like, “Nice personality, or “Good values,” things like that. But if you watch speed dating studies or online dating studies where you can actually observe how people are choosing a partner, in those cases you find that two of their three wishes for traits or characteristics, go to looks and money.

Women will do money first, looks third. Men will do looks first and then money second and we’re talking about heterosexual relationships there. But, yeah you see that and that’s a pretty consistent finding across the board. And then the next question is, well what’s the return on your investment, so to speak–

Frank: Before you get to that–

Ty: If you get somebody who’s good looking or has a lot of money?

Frank: Do you see a difference in gay relationships?

Ty: That’s a good question and part of the struggle with writing the book is that we tried to keep it as science-based as possible and in my opinion, it’s unfortunate that in that the research doesn’t fully represent the range of relationships that are out there, including gay, lesbian, bisexual relationships and so, there’s just not as much research there. But you do see some of those trends and gay men, for example, will have looks towards the top and lesbian women will have socioeconomic status. It’s a bit more education and the financial well being mixed in there as far as how they choose. Yeah, you do see some consistency across different types of relationships.

Frank: Is there anything we have the opportunity or the option of learning about ourselves that will help us in future relationships based on your research or any research?

Ty: I could–

La Tonia: Kudos to you, first of all. I’m sorry, but kudos to you first of all for even saying that the research is a bit limited. I just have to acknowledge you for sharing that.

Frank: Very nice.

Ty: I appreciate that. Research can be slow as far as catching up but I think it’s improving, but it’s a body of research that’s not there yet. But I do appreciate that.

As far as, I think, advice going forward for people, I think that reflection in between a relationship, because it’s easy to jump to something else right away, especially now with the online dating sites and Tinder or whatever else, people can just jump into the next relationship.

Frank: What is it?

Ty: Tinder, that’s one of these mobile apps where people can just see, “Whose close by to me on my cell phone?”

Frank: Wow.

Ty: And in that way, I think the ease of being able to find a new dating partner or just somebody to fill the space, let’s say–

La Tonia: Now are you saying dating or hook-up partner? Let’s talk real shop here. Let’s talk shop, Ty.

Ty: I think it varies. So, that Tinder app, for example, my impression of what I hear is that, that’s just a little more of a hook-up kind of thing. Someone wants to avoid thinking about the distress or the pain that comes along with having lost a relationship. I think now it’s easier than ever to just find somebody else or find other people to hang out with to keep your mind off of it. But then you don’t have that time to reflect upon, “Hey, what didn’t go well here and what can I do better next time?” Getting the counsel of friends or family, professional help or books or shows like this, I think people don’t always take the time to do that.

La Tonia: Well, given the high divorce rates and the research are long-lasting enduring relationships really possible in your research and experience?

Ty: Yeah, this is a little bit depressing. I’ll take the positive after I give the answer, but–

La Tonia: Okay.

Ty: There’s the divorce rate, which hovers around about 48, 49 percent and I think most people know that, but there’s another 10 to 15 percent of couples that will permanently separate and for all intense purposes, look divorced. They don’t live together, they don’t really talk to each other, but they’ll be permanently separated and never file the paperwork. Let’s add 10 percent of that now and let’s say that’s 49 percent. Now you’ve got an additional 7 percent of couples roughly and that’s the conservative estimate who stay married, but are chronically unhappy in their marriage. So, when you add up all the percentages you get to about only a third of relationships are both happy and stable and so, it’s possible is the good news, but it’s not the norm.

Frank: Okay, what you got La Tonia?

La Tonia: Wow. Right. I was really digesting that and I just think that it goes back to a level of that truth and lies. The lies, the beliefs that we tell ourselves about relationships and so when you start doing the number, people are really experimenting with marriage.

Frank: Yeah.

La Tonia: They’re not really experimenting with dating, because you have this external pressure. Would you agree, Ty?

Ty: I agree. I always say that people give more effort and research and thought to buying a car or stereo than they do to marriage sometimes. Itt’s too bad if things end up not working out. Like we just talked about, there’s about two thirds chance that they won’t work out these days and so–

La Tonia: And given that though Ty, I got to ask you though, I’ve got to ask you–

Ty: Sure.

La Tonia: Should marriage even be positioned as “happily ever after” so that we can stop the whole success failure conversation?

Frank: Here, here. Sometimes it lasts, sometimes it doesn’t, sometimes it lasts 10 years, sometimes it lasts one.

La Tonia: And that was the purpose. That was the season.

Frank: Yes, but we’re not the guest. Give the guest the floor–

La Tonia: We’re not the guest.

Frank: I’m sorry.

La Tonia: Hush, La Tonia, hush.

Ty: The institution of marriage’s been around about 5,000 years and up until about just a 160, 170 years ago, life expectancy around the globe was under 40 years old and part of the challenge that we’re facing and really just very recently, if you look at the history of marriage, is the idea of ever after is about twice as long as it used to be and that makes things-you got this extra 25 years now to think about what to do with that.

And people, you know, it doesn’t work out and I think you’re right. I think sometimes they beat themselves up too much and say, “Gosh, I failed,” or “I’m no good,” or whatever and that’s just not the place to go. It’s so difficult, it’s such a challenge now. I think it’s fine to have an idea of being pretty happily ever after, I think that can happen and for a third of couples right now, it does but I think that the key there is that, I think you’re right if people are truthful with themselves about who they are and what it is that they want and what they can provide within the context of the institution of marriage, it just gives them a better chance then of getting into a situation that’s going to be better for everybody. I always think about it’s important for adults to try to be happy and have a good relationship, but it’s the kids really, where kids can do okay with divorce. They can handle that, but what they can’t handle is the situation where people aren’t acting like adults.

Frank: Yeah. At each others throats.

Ty: Exactly, and I think sometimes that can happen in marriage and that’s where I think there’s a real problem, when that starts to happen.

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You’re listening to Frank Relationships. We’re talking with Dr. Ty Tashiro, the author of The Science of Happily Ever After and a relationship expert who writes weekly articles about the science of love. Dr. Tashiro, please tell me how I can find you and your work.

Ty: Sure. They can find me at my website which is tytashiro.net and they can find more about The Science of Happily Ever After there, find places to buy the book from the website, also see some of the articles that I write for Discovery Health. I do some of the common relationship questions that people have.

Frank: Is it possible to go to court and say, when the relationship is ending, if it’s a little acrimonious, do you think one party can get away with saying, “Your honor, I thought I’d be dead by now? Can’t you just let me out without going through all of this? The life expectancy’s longer than I expected. Five thousand years ago it was whatever and-”

La Tonia: Right.

Frank: “Cut me a break.”

La Tonia: Isn’t that what the research says?

Ty: Yeah, that would be something. That would be something if someone pulled that off.

Frank: Yeah, yeah. Maybe that’s what I should have said when I went through my divorce, but we live and learn. Why do you think people put the looks and money at the top of their wish list?

Ty: It kind of gets to that point that we were just talking about actually with the less expectancy. When life expectancy was 36, 37 years old, there were a lot of people dying there in their teens and 20’s and the rate of kids dying from malnourishment or bad drinking water was very high and the odds that you could find a mate, have kids and then see those kids through a reproductive age where they would also have kids, had that basic idea of propagating species, the odds were far from guaranteed and we need to choose people that would have the best chance of surviving and that would give our kids the best chance of surviving and that’s where the physical attractiveness comes in.

The theory behind that and some of the research behind that suggests that physical attractiveness is a visible indicator of physical or genetic health and so. we have a preference for that built in, because we’d say, “Hey, there’s somebody who give my kids the best chance of having a good immune system, being strong and being able to live to a reproductive age and we say that like wisdom teeth flare. It’s something that used to have a purpose and used to do us some good, but now it’s just a remainder in times where we really don’t need those things anymore.

Frank: That is powerful.

Ty: Yeah, it–

Frank: I never thought about it like that.

Ty: Yeah, there’s all kinds of fascinating studies about that. I can give you a quick example. It’s one of my favorites, actually. It’s about snow and what they did in the study, they wanted to see, do more physically attractive people have sense that are more sexually attractive to other people and what they found in there is, women had this preference for men’s T-shirts. So, there’s these T-shirts men wore three days and they didn’t shower and they had them in these boxes that were anonymous marked and women would come through and they would smell the B.O. basically on these T-shirts and what they found is that women had a preference for the body order of men who also happen to be physically attractive. They only have this smell preference during the time of the month from when they were in peak fertility.

La Tonia: Yeah, ovulation. It’s true.

Ty: Yeah, that’s one of the things that blows my mind, because here’s something that I would never think about naturally, but that can be in play at a subliminal kind of level and drive attraction.

Frank: Are you married?

Ty: I am not married. I’m a single guy.

Frank: Okay, so if you–

La Tonia: He’s practicing his research.

Ty: In the trenches, you know?

Frank: You go on a date, just put a sweaty shirt in the front seat and she has to pick up and move in order to sit down in the seat. That might get you some play.

Ty: There you go. There you go. They’ve had some other follow-ups that are interesting and they’ve also seen some effects where if your immune system is different than the other person’s, so if you tend to have good immunity toward certain kinds of viruses and diseases that are different than the other person’s, then people tend to couple up, because then they would have kids that have a broader range of immunity to a broader range of diseases.

Some of these things from back when, when life’s expectancy was much shorter, they stay with us now, but when we’re living to 78, 79 years old, it just doesn’t do as much good anymore. It was the same thing with wealth and money that if you were having a hard time finding food or water or just basic protection from enemies or predators, having some shelter and having some of those food and water resources was extremely important. Somebody who would have those would be very attractive.

Frank: Okay.

La Tonia: Wow.

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La Tonia?

La Tonia: I just want to know if the co-host qualifies for that.

Frank: No.

La Tonia: I wanted to ask you that for the last show and the last.

Frank: No, stay away from here.

La Tonia: That’s okay, my birthday’s coming.

Frank: Yes, we’ll take care of you that way.

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Doc, brain chemistry–what’s going on in the brain along the various love spectrums?

Ty: Most of the research in that area has been done on initial attraction, so when people are in that passionate love and time, what you see with that is the sexual arousal center, which would be right in the back part of the brain, a more primal part of the brain are highly activated obviously and then if you look right behind the eyebrows, that kind of front part of your brain on the left hand side, that’s lit up in these scans and that’s the place where we have positive emotions.

The places we have negative emotions, which would be right behind the right hand side of the eyebrow, they’re just not active, they’re actually deactivated, meaning that it’s very hard to experience a negative emotion or negative evaluation when we’re in that stage of passionate love. The way you practically see that is, you’ve got a friend who’s with somebody who’s may be not good for them, everybody else can see that except for them. And it’s actually neurologically hard for them to think about what the negative characteristics of this partner might be.

Frank: That’s–

La Tonia: Wow.

Frank: You know doc, we’ve got to talk. I want to communicate with you a little more regularly. In fact, I’m curious about whether you’d be interested in working with the show a little bit more?

Ty: Yeah, this is a great conversation. I’ve really enjoyed talking with you guys. I would be happy to come back and talk more with you all, because this is a stimulating conversation for me.

Frank: You’re listening to Frank Relationships and we’re talking with Dr. Ty Tashiro, author of The Science of Happily Ever After and a relationship expert who writes weekly articles about the science of love. Dr. Tashiro, please one last time, please tell me how I can find you.

Ty: I appreciate that, It’s my website is a great place to find me, which is tytashiro.net and they can find the book, The Science of Happily Ever After. I think it’s been out about a month now and they can find out some background and also can some of the articles and connect on social media, if they like.

Frank: Along today’s journey, we’ve discussed brain chemistry, the litany of research out here on love and romance and sex and the lack of research that exists pertaining to gay relationships. I hope you’ve had as much fun as I’ve had discussing happily ever after with Dr. Ty Tashiro.

As always, it’s my wish for you to walk away from this conversation with a heaping helping of useful information that’ll help you create a relationship that’s as loving and accepting as possible. Let us know what you thought of today’s show at facebook.com/relationshipflove, on Twitter @mrfranklove or franklove.com.

On behalf of my producer, Phileta Legette, and my engineer, Jeff Newman, keep rising. This is Frank Love.


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