For all those local lonely hearts who think they’ll never find love in Boston, here’s a little news to cheer you up. Boston ranks six nationwide as the top city to find a romantic man, according to the online dating site Chemistry.com.
It may sound a little flaky, but the dating site relies on the expertise of Helen Fisher, a Rutgers University anthropologist whose research using magnetic resonance imaging identified which areas of the brain get activated when a person is in love. (Fisher is a paid consultant for the site.)
In her book Why Him? Why Her?, Fisher identified four personality types that are driven by our hormones and brain chemicals and help determine who we’ll be most compatible with and how we interact in our romantic relationships.
There’s the Explorer, who’s driven by the “excitement” brain chemical dopamine and seeks out novelty, adventure, and spontaneity; the Builder, who runs on the “soothing” brain chemical serotonin and tends to be calm, social, and orderly; the Director, who is fueled by the “male” hormone testosterone and is analytical, logical, focused, and tough-minded; and the Negotiator, who is guided by the “female” hormone estrogen to be verbal, imaginative, and compassionate.
Negotiators are the romantic types, and Boston men are more likely to fall into this category than men in Dallas, Iowa City, or Chicago. “They’re more expressive of the estrogen system, which doesn’t surprise me,” said Fisher. Like other university-laden cities in the Northeast, Boston is filled with open-minded intellectuals who are very adept at expressing themselves verbally, she added.
Those verbal gifts translate into expressions of feelings, especially when it comes to romantic love. “Negotiators are the most emotional and go all out to please their partners,” Fisher explained. They’re the type to throw a surprise party, plan creative romantic activities, and perform daily love rituals like giving a morning hug, making coffee, and checking in with their significant other every few hours. “They want a deep authentic, intimate connection with their partner.”
On the dark side, they can be a little too needy, a little too suffocating.
Of course, most folks are a mixture of personality types. Just for fun, I took the quiz on the chemisty.com site and found out that I’m an Explorer and Negotiator with a little Builder sprinkled in.
Fisher said that’s it “all a matter of degrees, but degrees do make a difference.”
Here’s the list of the top 10 cities to find a romantic man:
1. San Francisco, CA
2. Portland, OR
3. Austin, TX
4. Salt Lake City, UT
5. Hartford, CT
6. Boston, MA
7. Seattle, WA
8. New York, NY
9. Los Angeles, CA
10. Washington D.C.