― Nikola Tesla
Thousands of years ago, our ancestors were nomadic and followed their sources of food as they migrated across the land. Tribal cultures developed societies based upon the hunt and gather model of social classification. Those best suited for hunting garnered higher social status and were selected to lead 'the hunt' and ultimately the tribe. These individuals possessed the genetic traits most suitable for survival in nomadic civilizations (survival of the fittest). Their higher social status afforded them breeding options with the women who wanted to enjoy hypergamous social status. This gave their offspring a chance to have the desirable survival characteristics as well as the protection of the tribal leader(s). Sex was used to bond and secure stability in addition to producing children as modern day contraceptives had yet to be developed. The concept of ownership and possession was rarely exhibited even so far as husbands sharing wives with others to secure friendship and trust. Children belonged to the tribe and not a single family as their fathers shared wives (sounds bizarre today).
Once the shift from nomadic to agricultural civilization occurred, the concept of land ownership changed the way tribal cultures dealt with 'hunt and gather' social status. Now, instead of relying on the best hunters and leaders of the tribe to secure food, society was able to count on food production from the land and in turn develop towns and cities. Currency was established to exchange goods and services and as a result a different form of status was developed. Those with the most valued assets of land, wealth, and resources were then desired for their status.
If the shift from nomadic to agricultural society hadn't occurred, humans would value mate selection quite differently. While still holding on to our genetic inclinations from thousands of years of evolutionary psychology, we struggle with mate selection in our present day society of wealth and ownership.
The 'Attraction Triangle' concept deals with finding balance between the areas of Emotional Stability, Intelligence, and Beauty. It argues that every individual ranks each of the three categories according to their personal values.
Emotional Stability deals with an individuals attitude and how well they are able to cope with setbacks while remaining faithful to themselves and their partners (Integrity). This area is concerned with having a healthy self-esteem and the maturity to deal with addictions, anger, and frustration in a constructive manner. These individuals possess the highly desirable parenting qualities needed to raise an emotionally balanced child or children. This stability is important in achieving overall happiness both personally as well as in a relationship.
Intelligence is the area concerned with one's ability to think, put together abstract ideas, hold conversations and discuss arguments (think high I.Q.). These individuals are generally well educated and tend to make higher incomes. They are professionals, philosophers, and intellectuals. They have figured out how to thrive in an agricultural society that rewards using their brain over their brawn.
Beauty deals with the relative concept of animal attraction. It is not objective, but rather up to each individual to determine what they consider attractive. There are certain scientific observations noted such as facial symmetry, and physical proportions, known as the golden ratio, that span across cultures with regard to being universally attractive due to genetic health.
These visual cues are processed by the brain on a precognitive level even before pheromones or speech can be detected. Your brain is posturing your behavior to act according to the visual attraction your animal instinct has determined. Once interaction has been made, your other animal senses are processing both sound and smell to determine genetic fitness. A deep voice or confident laughter indicates higher levels of testosterone in both Men and Women (a sign of dominance). Pheromones that emanate from sweat glands are subconsciously processed to further determine genetic compatibility (healthy genetics will register as a pleasant odor or taste). Here we are able to differentiate where beauty becomes highly subjective due to one's animal preference and ability to process a potential mate's major histocompatibility complex (MHC) through pheromones. This attraction deals with both genetic compatibility as well as being able to shore up gaps in one's own lacking genetic immunity. In other words, on a subconscious level, your basic animal attraction is determined by a potential mate's ability to average up one's own genetics (even if producing offspring is not the goal, see hypergamy).
Ideally mate selection would fulfill all three categories; however, the reality is that we are lucky if we get two if any at all. Each person has their own priority of what they are 'looking' for and willing to compromise.
Personally, I believe the 'right' individual will enhance all three categories in oneself which takes maturity to identify and put into practice.
"Find your frequency."