Amid all the mainstream lovers mania around Valentines, Brixton Library took its own unique look at the psychology of love on Wednesday evening. We asked Lucy Binnersley to pop along and find out more…
For someone who often feels that they are more likely to channel Bridget Jones rather than Freud when it comes to dating, I put the glass/bottle of Chardonnay and diary writing on hold for one evening and went along to Love Me – Love Me Not learn about the psychology of dating and relationships from psychologist Morgan Ereku.
The evening began with a fun, interactive quiz, which included great prizes donated from Tesco’s and erotic emporium Sh!. A really diverse mix of people turned up for the event, on one table alone there was a range of ages from 25 to 65. This proved quite entertaining when the eldest on our table asked how to spell the word “vibrator”. Which was an answer to one of the quiz questions. I promise. Yet behind all the blushing, the evening was actually extremely informative in terms of the social, cognitive and evolutionary psychology that was discussed providing a revealing insight into courtship and love. Of course informative can be exciting and even risqué. It’s not every evening that you learn that vibrators were initially used by physicians in the early 1900’s to treat female patients suffering with hysteria, or that Cleopatra is speculated to have used the world’s first vibrator which was filled with bees to make it, well, vibrate.
The quiz was followed by a knowledgeable and thorough discussion by Morgan Ereku. Through work done for his PHD thesis, Morgan, has examined whether dating skills, the skills necessary for attracting a romantic mate, can be improved through carefully designed practice, with focus on factors underlying courtship and romantic relationship formation. Given one in five relationships start online it is also crucial to consider the influence of online social networks and communication technologies on contemporary dating behaviour. establish rewarding romantic relationships. This generational difference was also highlighted when an older member of the audience told me that she had thought ‘Plenty of Fish’ was a new fad diet, as opposed to an internet dating site. Perhaps ignornace is bliss?
‘Love me – Love me not’ was a highly engaging and entertaining evening put on by Brixton Library, revealing that the science behind dating is both fascinating and frustrating. It may be that the ways we are finding dating partners and dating are changing and evolving, but what Morgan highlights is perhaps Bridget Jones and Freud are not that far apart when it comes to the psychology of dating and formation of meaningful relationships…. Now, that would be one date that I would like to be a fly on the wall for.