Human mating strategies are a set of behaviours that are used in order to attract and retain mates. Mating strategies do overlap with reproductive strategies, which include a broader set of behaviours in order to aid reproduction.

Humans are relatively unique in their relationship with cultural variables, including the institution of marriage. Humans will seek out individuals to form long term relationships, casual relationships, or friendship. The desire for companionship in humans is one of our strongest drives, with some thinking it is related to our sex drive.

Human mating strategies includes both social and cultural processes whereby one person meets another to see whether they are suitable for one another. This is known as courtship, and allows people to form interpersonal relationships.

Stages of Human Mating Strategies

There are a variety of different human mating strategies that help people form relationships with another.


This is where two people would bond or express their sexual interest. Flirting for fun can take place between people who don’t want to be sexually intimate, but it does help to increase the bonds between two people.

Flirting in order to find a mate plays a big role in human mating strategies. The person who is flirting will send out signals of sexual availability, with the hope of seeing a returned interest. Flirting, although mainly involves words, can also include non-verbal signs like glances, hand-touching, and hair-touching.


Dating shows that your flirting has paid off! This is where you will meet up with someone in order to see if you think you are compatible as a spouse or in a relationship.


In some cultures, some people may arrange a date for two friends or a third partner who think that two individuals are well suited to one another. In some cultures, a marriage may even be arranged by the matchmakers.

Sex Differences

Sexual Desire

The sexual selection theory states that men can achieve greater reproductive success by mating as many partners as possible, whereas women won’t. Evolutionists will argue that ancestral men who possess a desire for multiple short-term sex partners would have more decedents than men without. Ancestral women, on the other hand, would get the most reproductive success by selecting a mate who are able to invest resources into their offspring.

Sexual Attractions

Many evolutionary psychologists think that men place a higher value about youth and physical attractiveness more than women do. Youthfulness is associated with reproductive value, and therefore an attractive trait for women to have when men want to pass on their DNA. A mans reproductive value does not decline as quickly with age, and as such, women do not put as much value on youthfulness as men.

Instead, women tend to select men who are ambitious and have a good social status, as these are characteristics of men who have access to resources.

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