My HormonologyIf you’re looking for love or have ever wondered how you ended up with your current partner or a certain partner in your past, you may find this bit of hormone information intriguing: Numerous studies over the past decade have shown that the week you’re in on your menstrual cycle has a profound impact on how you respond to a new potential partner you meet.

Specifically, in your Week 1 (which starts at the onset of menstruation), Week 3 (right after ovulation) and Week 4 (your premenstrual week), lower levels of estrogen have you preferring potential partners who exhibit a sensitive, caring and cooperative side. During these weeks, looks and social status aren’t as important to you as personality. These are the type of people you could have a long-term relationship with because you share goals, interests and/or behavioral traits that make you a great team.

If you’re in Week 2 of your cycle, things are dramatically different: High levels of estrogen have you more attracted to dominant, confident, cocky and flirtatious cuties who are at the top-rung at work or in their social circle or athletic team. Looks become more important to you, so you’re more easily swayed by those with toned bodies and attractive facial features even if they’re lacking in the personality department. These are the type of people who are appropriate for a short-term fun fling, but who would likely not work out for a long-term romance because you’re not compatible, they don’t have the traits needed to cooperate and share a life with someone else or they’re prone to straying.

Notice the big difference between the kind of partners you want across the weeks of your cycle? Here’s where your hormones kind of turn into a bit of a jerk: They actually rev your desire for romance and physical intimacy more during your Week 2 than during any other week of your cycle. This is the week when you’re more likely to go to the dance club, sign up to a dating website, attend a singles event and actively pursue a love interest.

Unfortunately, this is also the week that your hormones are pushing you to go for the person who’s all wrong for a long-term romance.

This means your hormones are actually pushing you toward the wrong long-term match-up! Explains a lot, right?

Why would your hormones be so mean? Scientists say it all comes down to your patiently-waiting egg. Turns out, chiseled jaws and confident attitudes are cues that tell your hormone-addled brain this potential partner is the healthiest and best genetic match-up for your egg in case you get pregnant at the end of your Week 2 during ovulation. Unfortunately, your hormones don’t care that this cutie also has an undying love of Monster Jam Trucks and can’t say the word “ostentatious” correctly even though he repeats it every other sentence.

What does all this mean for you? If you don’t keep these hormonal effects in mind when you meet someone new, you could miss an opportunity to connect with the right partner because you met the person on the wrong week of your cycle.

Or, worse, you could end up with the wrong partner because you met the person on a week in your cycle when they seemed more appealing than they really were.

My advice? Before you head out to a singles event, networking function or even to the grocery store, think about the type of relationship you’re seeking right now–a fun fling or a long-term romance–and write a list of traits you want in your future partner and keep it in your purse or wallet.

Then, when you meet someone new, consider what you’re looking for in a relationship along with the week you’re currently on in your cycle. That way, you can make a better choice about your romantic life that will make you happier!