Ladies: Kissing is the key to finding your Mr Darcy!
11th October 2013
kissingA word of advice/warning for any man who fancies himself as the next Fitzwilliam Darcy – or more commonly known as ‘Mr Darcy’, scientists believe that the suitability of a potential mate is helped to be determined through kissing. A theory is that kissing apparently lets a person know a lot about the other person through taste, smell and fitness, and is particularly important in helping women to pick her future husband because of this. Whereas others say that kissing can help to boost the strength of relationships, and leads to sex by heightening arousal. Whichever way you look at it, it seems kissing is important! It has created intrigue for anthropologists over the years as to just why kissing is so important however, especially when it is something universally done among potential lovers and can even be taken for granted, but they think they have an answer at last. The research, published in the Archives of Sexual Behaviour journal, was also trying to find why humans above all other animals, kiss quite frequently. It could be in fact that those with a large number of potential suitors could be picky about who they decide to settle down with and kissing could be a method of finding their ‘one’. Professor Robin Dunbar of Liverpool University, one of the authors behind the study, confirmed that their study on 900 men and women showed that kissing is crucial for the Ms Bennets of the world who are still trying to find their own Mr Darcy. The 900 volunteers were asked how important they believed kissing to be in the beginning stages of a relationship, with a long-term partner, and immediately before, during or after sex. Maybe unsurprisingly, the online study discovered that women regarded kissing as to be of more importance than their male counterparts, but that men and women who rate themselves as being good-looking and usually have short-term relationships – i.e. people usually more likely to be selective -  are more likely to rate kissing higher than other men and women. It could be that kissing works as a type of compatibility/suitability test for this group. “Mate choice and courtship in humans is complex. It involves a series of periods of assessments where people ask themselves 'shall I carry on deeper into this relationship?' Initial attraction may include facial, body and social cues. The assessments become more and more intimate as we go deeper into the courtship sage, and this is where kissing comes in,” Professor Dunbar said. He added: “In choosing partners, we have to deal with the Jane Austen problem: how long do you wait for Mr Darcy to come along when you can't wait forever and there may be lots of women waiting just for him? At what point do you have to compromise for the curate?” Professor Dunbar says the study demonstrates the importance of kissing in helping people assess the genetic fitness or desirability of a potential mate. “What Jane Austen realised is that people are extremely good at assessing where they are in the mating market and pitch their demands accordingly,” Professor Dunbar said. “It depends what kind of poker hand you've been dealt. If you have a strong bidding hand, you can afford to be much more demanding and choosy when it comes to prospective mates. We see some of that coming out in the results of our survey, suggesting that kissing plays a role in assessing a potential partner.”