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Online Dating Magazine > Columns > Secrets to Lasting Lesbian Love > Dr. Helen Fisher Interview


Barb ElginBarb Elgin's Secrets to Lasting Lesbian Love
by Barb Elgin

In this column, Barb Elgin, a licensed therapist and love coach with almost 25 years experience on the 'front lines', helping singles and couples like yourself, navigates what she calls the 'journey of love'. 

Elgin is also a lesbian woman.  And, if you couldn't tell already, she's extremely passionate about the topics of love, dating and relationship health. 

"I look at my work as a calling, my legacy (perhaps the child I never had?) and, it's just that important."

Elgin's vision for this column is to help you improve your relationship knowledge and skills so you can experience greater satisfaction in your love life, whether you are gay or straight.  This column will break new ground in mainstream media and Internet for lesbians and those who live, love or work with them

 



Can Knowing Your Romantic Personality Help You Finding Lasting Lesbian Love? An Interview with Dr. Helen Fisher

 

I recently had the honor of interviewing Dr. Helen Fisher.  Fisher is 'Chief Scientific Advisor' for Chemistry.com, one of the most established and successful dating and matchmaking sites in the world.  She's a internationally renowned biological anthropologist, and she teaches, lectures and consults to many top business organizations and universities.  Last but not least, Fisher has written five books, and, during our interview, she revealed she's engrossed in at least one major research project most of the time.  Talk about long term commitment and having lasting energy and passion for one's work!

Over the course of the next series of articles, I'll be sharing with you insights gleaned from my interview with Dr. Fisher and weaving in my ideas and intuitions on how her research and work informs lesbian love relationships.  My vision is having readers like yourself comment below right here on the Online Dating Magazine website so that I can weave YOUR ideas into my future articles as well.

So, let's go ahead and get started...

Dr. Fisher studies why we fall in love with one person rather than another,  from a fresh, smart, but relatively unknown, perspective

One of my first questions right now as I have time to reflect a bit on my time with Helen was: just what is biological anthropology?  Seems awfully 'dry and academic' to me.  How can this field of study help people in the real world? 

According to Wikipedia.org, biological or, physical anthropology is "The branch of anthropology that studies, in the context of other primates, the development of the human species. Biological anthropology incorporates bio-cultural studies of human diversity, the ancestry of the human species; and the comparative anatomy, behavior, history, and ecology, of historic and present-day primates."  I know, that's a mouthful, but I wanted you to know Fisher comes from a legitimate, if relatively unknown, field of study. 

Helen's research interests during the majority of her career have been the topics of love, romance and sex.  She's always been curious, as her website says,

Why we fall in love with one person rather than another.

In my interview, Helen shared her perspectives on why we fall in love with the person (or people) we do.  Helen's work is not only intriguing, it's HOT!  More importantly, I believe making her insights more widely available will create healthier individuals and couples, leading to a healthier society! 

Information gleaned from the work of people like Fisher is like discovering precious gems.  Her insights are sorely needed in today's public discourse.  Her rigorous training and the fruits of her labor are examples of how we could be feeding the human mind greater substance and truth, instead of the fluff, misinformation, and information twisted for political purposes that too often crowds the airwaves today.

Junk food or great nutrition?  Your choice.  Why a wise and compassionate use of your time today is tuning into experts such as Dr. Helen Fisher
Dr. Fisher's commitment to her subject matter is obvious.  On the morning I talked with her, she was leaving right after our interview to do an interview with ABC's Nightline.  Helen is constantly being sought out by the major media.  This is the result of her focus on the 'personality of love' by way of many years of research, study and writing on topics such as female sexuality, the evolution of the human family, marriage, infidelity, divorce and the female brain. 

For example, she's studied divorce in 58 societies, adultery in 42 cultures, and has come up with some very interesting insights, including many that go against 'common sense'.  In fact, without reservation, I'd say,

Helen is someone we can trust in a world where it's become increasing difficult sorting out who to listen to and what information to believe.  That is, if truth and accuracy mean anything to you!

No, Helen isn't perfect.  But Dr. Fisher does well at staying within her area of competence, when speaking and sharing her ideas.  In the current media climate, industry executives still seem to live by the belief that to make a profit you must pit two bitterly opposite sides against one another, or pander to the lowest common denominator.  No, I'm not a socialist or communist.  I understand free speech, the value of entertainment and a good story. 

But, just because we have free speech that doesn't mean we should say anything and everything that comes to mind.  All free speech comes with some degree of responsibility.  And the way we talk, think and act comes from what repeatedly fill our minds with and that comes largely from who we choose to hang around with, who we choose to do business with and accept money from, etc.

For example, do we really understand the psychological, social and physical impact of listening to Rush Limbaugh or reading what Ann Coulter has to say?  Do we really understand the impact of those modes of thinking (and behaving) on family relationships, and on couples, especially when you have family members who are on opposing sides in terms of that type of thinking, living under one roof? 

When is the last time Limbaugh or Coulter (or, dare I say it, Dr. Laura) subjected their opinions to serious inquiry?  Would they be so bold and brazen with some of their statements if they had to be accountable for how their words affected others?  Yes, some will say Dr. Laura has helped them.  But, what is her percentage of 'helped' versus 'hurt'?  I'd love to know.

Even if Coulter and Limbaugh argue they are on the radio or TV or internet because they truly believe they are trying to help, are they?  Are they adding to solutions or just making more problems?  Just what are they helping to achieve?  I know they aren't helping my relationship with any relatives who listen to him.

You might be reading this and say, 'Barb, what does any of this have to do with lasting lesbian love?'  Well, actually, I would argue, A LOT!  I am deep down a 'dove' and proud of it!  I'm also a highly-trained behavioral health care professional who advocates for society to care more about individuals and a social worker who understands the impact social forces have on the daily lives of individuals, couples, families, etc.  

The personal IS political.  When someone in an influential public place makes a negative assertion about a whole group of people, such as gays, gays internalize that and so do non-gays.  On a mild level, these sorts of experiences might only reinforce the negative self image many lesbians (or family members) have.  On a more serious level, it could be the final straw that 'validates' a psychotic person's desire to act out in a destructive manner.  Either way, the mental health of individuals and communities IS negatively affected.

Ann Coulter, for example, has made inflammatory comments against gay individuals and the gay community(1 ).  I also have a problem with Coulter in general.  It's easy for someone like her to sit in her spot and take shots, after all, she doesn't have a job on the inside of government making things run (or not).  Yes, like any citizen, Coulter has a right to say what she wants.  However, I think her negativity just 'stirs the pot' rather than offering solutions. 

Coulter's assertions are broad, sweeping generalizations that poison the minds of those who listen to her.  I'd like to see her do the job of your average politician for one day.  As a result, I think it's very possible Coulter is increasing the depression and anger many in America feel versus inspiring those who read her work to do something positive to improve themselves or some aspect of the problems facing us as a country.  It's all vent and no action.  The bottom line for me is this:  Coulter's only 'expertise' is inflaming others while speaking outside of her area of competence!

Stay tuned for my next article, where I'll continue my thoughts on my interview with a true expert, Dr. Helen Fisher, as she reveals what she's discovered about the the 'personality of love' and I continue to weave in how her findings relate to creating lasting lesbian love!

Thank you for reading.  I hope if you've found today's article intriguing, you'll forward it on to those who want or need to see it!


For 25 years now, Barb Elgin, MSW, LCSW, Certified Singles Coach, has been discovering the secrets to lasting lesbian love.  Now she wants to share them with you!  Dating and relationship coaching is available with Barb live and 'on demand' every Wednesday evening from 7-10p ET at 352-347-3577/toll free 866-396-2272.  To learn more about Barb – http://www.barbelgin.com and her email is barb@barbelgin.com.

Disclaimer: The suggestions and feedback offered in this column are but one perspective of multiple approaches to dealing with problems or challenges. Information provided in articles and advice columns should not be used as a substitute for coaching or therapy when these services are needed. None of this information should be your only source when making important life decisions. This information should not be used for diagnosing or treating a particular problem, nor should it take the place of a consultation with a trained professional. It is your responsibility to consult a professional prior to making any life decisions.

Reference:
(1) GLAAD.org - Ann Coulter serves her tea with 'homophobic' innuendo - http://glaadblog.org/2009/04/22/ann-coulter-serves-her-tea-with-homophobic-innuendo/

 


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