Luck in love often comes by accident. And jumping on this “wave of fortune” can be very difficult. Psychologist Barry Schwartz and anthropologist Helen Fisher shared their views on this issue.

What determines luck in love

Variety of choice

“Successful relationships are created, not found,” Professor Barry Schwartz is convinced. He became known throughout the world for his research on how we make choices. His results showed that while we think having more choices makes us happier, it doesn’t.

When we have too many options, we constantly think about the opportunities we are missing out on. Schwartz even joked about how happy he was at a time when the store next door only sold one pair of jeans. Then there were jeans of a free cut, tight-fitting, “boyfriends” and so on. Now we can buy jeans that fit great, but feel much worse about doing so. New options increase our expectations, which, according to Schwartz, gives us less satisfaction from the result, even if it is good. The same can be said about romantic relationships.

Barry Schwartz


If you want to find the best partner, you will never put in enough effort to make the best person next to you right now. This is the Tinder effect. Why waste time developing a relationship when you can find another option with just one swipe?

Ability to evaluate potential partners

Barry Schwartz himself, having been married for over 50 years, put a lot of effort into his own marriage. “We’ve known each other for a very long time – she was my best friend in eighth grade. So she doesn’t like it when I talk about looking for a partner who is “good enough”. But in reality it is so, ”says the psychologist.

He also notes that we often do not understand how to properly evaluate potential lovers. After so many years of marriage, Schwartz knows for sure that his wife is a kind, empathic and intelligent woman with a strong moral core. Plus, she’s the perfect first reader for everything he writes. However, when they first met, he did not pay attention to any of these qualities: “She attracted me because she was the first girl from my environment who loved baseball. Specifically, the New York Yankees. Love for the fucking Yankees – what is the basis for a relationship anyway?

But their successful marriage was not born on the day they met, and not even on the day of the wedding. This was only the beginning of the story, but not its end. A true relationship developed over the following years out of mutual trust, support and love.

Barry Schwartz


Many couples often hear exclamations: “You are so lucky to have found each other!” Not really. Yes, they found each other, but then they themselves turned their relationship into the union that everyone wants. Luck of this kind finds us much more often than gifts of fate.

Thoughts on the future

When we focus exclusively on what happens before the wedding, we forget what happens after. Namely, after that a real marriage is born, and luck in love begins.

A successful financier, let’s call him Troy, considered himself the luckiest and happiest man in the world when he began dating a model. His friends were also inspired and even a little envious of him. The luck continued and culminated during the wedding, which was widely broadcast on all social networks.

And then life began. If you assume that the person who is dating the model has a dominant personality type and likes to be the center of attention, you can’t go wrong. But when they appeared somewhere together, Troy felt forgotten. Photographers wanted to take pictures of his beautiful wife on the red carpet, and he was asked to move away. When they entered the restaurant, everyone around them perked up, but they were looking at her, not at him. Luck ended in a very expensive divorce.

How to attract luck in love

If you are single, finding the right partner can seem like an endless minefield. Anthropologist Helen Fisher, who has become one of the world’s experts on love, is still enthusiastic about the feeling: “You’re trying to win the most amazing prize you can get – a life partner and a chance to send your DNA into the future. Although constant dating may seem like a real job. And it takes work to dress up and be as charming as possible.”

Fisher is a Research Fellow at the Kinsey Institute for the Study of Sex, Gender, and Reproduction and Chief Scientific Adviser for dating site Everyone who talks to her wants to know how technology has changed love. And while she says 40% of single people have dated someone they found online, Fisher is adamant that technology can’t change love at all.

Helen Fisher


Our brains are programmed to seek love, and anthropological research tells us that 90% of all interactions between people are non-verbal. When you are with someone, the ancient brain jumps into the situation and tells you how good that person is for you.

Expand your idea of ​​an ideal partner

Fischer shares Schwartz’s view that too much choice is bad for love. When we spend a lot of time online, we feel overwhelmed because a new candidate is just a click away. Fisher advises looking through 5-9 profiles on a dating site, and then stop and chat with at least one person. “Go on dates, stay enthusiastic and interested. The more you get to know someone, the more you may like him, ”the anthropologist emphasizes.

If you want to be lucky in love, you need to expand your list of preferences. For example, Fisher found that on dating sites, people often make too specific requirements for a potential partner, and then still find a common language with a completely different person. It’s like saying you want to watch a serious BBC documentary and then binge watch 10 episodes of Friends. Are you sure you know what will make you happy? The algorithms of some dating sites are now starting to take into account not only what you say, but also what you do.

Helen Fisher


We create our luck when we go where it can find us. If you love opera, go to the theater more often. If you love art, it’s time to visit the museum. If you are interested in money, go where wealthy people gather more often. 87% of Americans eventually get married, but that’s impossible if you’re watching Westworld at home.

Fisher herself was married as a young woman, but soon ended the relationship and never remarried. She spent 30 years in a close love relationship with a man much older than her, and after his death she had several more affairs. Now she is dating another man and is trying to understand how they fit together. She likes him very much, but they have different interests. Fisher is trying to figure out if this is a valid reason for the breakup or just a feature that will have to be worked on for a happy relationship.

Accept the biological basis of love

Like everyone else, Fisher wants to figure out what will make her happy in a relationship. In her opinion, three types of love can be distinguished: sexual desire, romantic feelings and attachment to a partner. Each of them has a biological basis.

For example, the evolutionary reasons for sexual desire are obvious, because without it, evolution simply would not have happened. The anthropologist believes that attachment is also an internal desire, and so developed that partners can tolerate each other until they raise a child.

But what about the romantic feelings about which myths and legends compose and about which the best works of Shakespeare are written? Fisher claims that this is also one of our inner desires. She and her colleagues conducted an unusual experiment, studying the brain activity of people who are deeply in love. Scientists have found that the hormone dopamine is associated with romantic love.

Helen Fisher


There is a small dopamine factory at the base of the brain. It is next to the areas that regulate thirst and hunger. These are basic inner desires, you cannot get rid of them.

Romantic love is a much stronger stimulus than sex or affection. As Fischer explains, we don’t kill ourselves if someone doesn’t want to have sex with us. But the end of a wonderful novel can cause anger and even lead to suicide. You can call it the Romeo and Juliet syndrome – “this is how I die with a kiss.”

In the midst of a love relationship, we often don’t notice our partner’s shortcomings because the brain creates a happy, positive illusion. But when the romance fades, we begin to notice more, and it is at this moment that it begins to seem to us that luck is leaving us. Fisher believes that maintaining some positive illusions, or at least focusing on what you like about your partner, is the key to staying on top of your luck during the attachment stage.

When we think about luck, we often think of the most primitive examples. Winning the lottery, no traffic jams on the way to the airport or queues to the doctor’s office. All this seems to us a real success, because such coincidences are hard to miss. However, in most cases, luck is much less flashy. Perhaps the key to success in a relationship is understanding that whatever choice we make is nothing more than a mutually beneficial exchange.