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Helen Fisher
Finding and Keeping the Love of Your Life.

weighs in on why your personality type and brain chemistry may help unlock the secret to finding lasting love. Learn more about your personality type and best chances for discovering true love below.

Could this be the year you meet your soul mate? Renowned anthropologist Helen Fisher, Ph.D., author of the new book Why Him? Why Her?, has a formula for romance based on mixing the right brain chemistry.

In the spring of 2007, 500 couples who read O participated in an online survey I developed to explore how happy different personality combinations are together. The findings were stunning. More than 70 percent said they would marry the same person again after an average of 16 years together. That is a supreme achievement.

But what about those of you who haven't yet found real love? From my studies of genetics and neuroscience I have come to believe that people fall into four broad personality types each influenced by a different brain chemical: I call them the Explorer, Builder, Director, and Negotiator. When I designed the survey, I wanted to see which types had married each other and stayed together, and how the mix was playing out in their relationships. Now, with additional data, I can offer scientific guidance about dating depending on which personality you are especially if you're looking for chemistry that lasts.

So which love type are you?

The Explorer:

You know the type: Explorers crave adventure and are willing to take risks. Highly curious, creative, energetic, spontaneous, they have many interests from hiking and spelunking to theater and reading.

Famous examples: John F. Kennedy, Princess Diana, Angelina Jolie.

Under the influence: The Explorer's behavior is largely affected by the brain chemical dopamine, which is a key player in our experience of pleasure and novelty. Longs for: A playmate.

Bonds well with: Other Explorers.

If you are an Explorer: My advice is to go slowly. Because you're so impulsive, you can get romantically involved too fast. And because you hate confrontation, you risk bolting from a relationship that could prove fantastic. If you find someone you are genuinely interested in, check your inclination to go out with others, and focus your energy on him or her.

If you're dating one: Be prepared to live this romance one day at a time. Remain flexible, and know that for your partner, "dullness is a misdemeanor," as novelist Ethel Wilson astutely put it.

The Builder:

You know the type: Typically conventional, these women and men are honorable and loyal; cautious without being afraid; calm; social; popular; and good at managing people, networking, and building family and community. Drawn to schedules and rules, they are also detail oriented, thorough, conscientious, and dependable.

Famous examples: George Washington, Colin Powell, Tiger Woods, Jennifer Aniston, Queen Elizabeth.

Under the influence: The defining neurochemical in Builders is serotonin, which modulates moods like aggression, anger, and calm.

Longs for: A helpmate.

Bonds well with: Other Builders.

If you are a Builder: Don't let your taste for plans and schedules get in the way of trying new things on a date ... unless you are going out with another Builder. Brag a little (Builders can be too modest) and, despite your love of socializing with the gang, take some time to be alone with your romantic interest. Your tendency to be protective will be appreciated, but make sure you don't appear controlling.

If you're dating one: Remember that Builders like to be concrete and to revel in the details. They're attracted to others who are orderly and calm, so when you make plans, stick to them. According to my research, Builders are the most likely to seek a lifelong partner.

Helen Fisher

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