Finding your perfect match, your one true love, the missing piece to your puzzle is a romantic and messy challenge everyone struggles with. Romantic movies make it seem as if the special one for you will either bump into you on the street, be your best friend for years before realizing you’re in love, or just be a prince waiting to take you by the hand and make you royal. Anyone who’s taken a shot at love knows just how unlikely these scenarios are. In fact, it’s common knowledge that finding the right one for you is as draining as climbing Mt Everest; it’s hard to breathe and you’re uncertain if you’re ever going to make it.
Scientists have taken all the romance out of finding your life partner. They’ve redefined what a perfect match is and it’s absolutely nothing like what you would find in the “rom-com” section on Netflix. According to studies, a person’s perfect match is between people with different DNA make-up. The more dissimilar they are, the better! The reason for that is that the more people’s’ DNA differs, the more beautiful, healthy, and fit their child will be. This is ideal for evolutionary purposes since it’s all about survival.
The problem with this match-making criterion is that it is quite strange to ask someone for a sample of DNA. It’s also an expensive process to compare your genes with another person’s. Until someone invents an app that easily compares DNA profiles, this process will need to be put on hold. However, there is a way to get an idea of whether or not someone is a good match for you, and it’s sort of gross. Within the human brain lays an ancient structure called the MHC. The MHC is a pro at detecting pathogens which are anything that can produce disease. When people sweat around us, our MHC is detecting who is similar to us and who is different in reference to our gene make-up. Apparently, when we prefer a person’s body odor over another perspiring fellow’s armpit fumes, that means that they are a better fit for us. The MHC is telling us to back off from an intolerably smelly man or woman for a good reason; they’re not a good match! This doesn’t mean we have to love our partner’s body scent, it just means that it is tolerable and preferable over other scents.
We can also take away the fact that there are no good or bad smells that people’s bodies give off. What is intolerable to you may be tolerable to the person sitting right next to you. Ever wonder how your friend can put up with her boyfriends BO? It probably doesn’t bother her- and, sorry to break it to you, but you probably emit a similar smell as your friend’s BF. That’s why you can’t stand it. The standing dilemma is that if we decide to go about finding the one for us via smelling people’s odors, does this mean we must live in a world without perfumes and colognes? Thought of sitting next to all those smelly fellows out there may be a reason to wait around for that DNA app, am I right?