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Why Him? Why Her?: Finding Real Love By Understanding Your Personality Type

3.83  ·  Rating Details  ·  1,482 Ratings  ·  174 Reviews
The national bestseller that shows you how a better understanding of who you are will help you find and keep the love you want

Helen Fisher can often tell, almost instantly, the hidden strengths and weaknesses in a relationship that are likely to keep a couple together or pull them apart. The words they choose, their facial structure and body language, even their doodles an
Paperback, 320 pages
Published January 5th 2010 by Holt Paperbacks (first published January 2009)
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So I recently picked-up the audio version of this from the library and though I’ve been listening to it, I didn’t list it as “currently reading”, because, I mean look at the title -- it’s embarrassing: Why Him? Why Her? Finding the Perfect Match. Who wants that shit in their update feed?

I didn’t listen to it so I could find my “perfect match” -- but the psychology and biology behind attraction and love interest me. And perhaps to a greater extent, personality typing interests me; particularly th
Feb 17, 2009 Kent rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
While "Why Him? Why Her?" is presented and marketed as a discussion of the psychology behind romantic relationships, it excels as an introduction to the brain chemistry which drives personality and friendship. In this respect, it is an engaging read.

The book begins with a brief personality test and then introduces the reader to the four primary personality types: Explorer, Builder, Director, and Negotiator. This structure allows the reader to compare their own experience with that of each arche
Jun 27, 2014 Aaron rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Why Him? Why Her? has two Why's in it because its alternative title is "Why 2: The Sequel to Why We Love?"

Helen Fisher's sequel to Why We Love has all the same characteristics of the original book: an extraordinary amount of cultural references combined with many academic references to psychological and anthropological studies. In my opinion, she is more careful to address issues with transexuals and homosexuals than she was in her first book. However, unlike her first book she is not laying out
Apr 04, 2014 Taka rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: popular-science, 2014
It's okay—

While Helen Fischer's categorization of people's personalities into four types based on neurotransmitters and hormones is interesting, it ultimately succumbs to simplification, though to her credit she does admit the complexity of personalities by qualifying her statements and presenting other factors influencing your personality. The simplification, however, works sometimes (though I'm not sure if it's just theory-induced blindness coupled with confirmation bias), and you realize ther
Theresa ♫
Jul 15, 2012 Theresa ♫ rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Fellow humans in search for the rules of attraction
I'm typing this review as a 15-year-old. (A really klutzy, naive, childish, immature 15-year-old. And even though I AM a 15-year-old, I've been mistaken for being 11 within the last week, so I also LOOK childish, too.)

Anyway, I've had to deal with crushes and love in the past 3 years and I've made so many huge mistakes, but I think I can say that I do know what love is. (Sort of. A little bit.)

First of all, it's kind of interesting how there's a book about such a thing because love is so freakis
Oct 27, 2012 Philip rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Self-help, desperation title aside, I didn't see this as a read intended to help me find the perfect match. Which is good, because that's not what it's about.

I heard Helen Fisher's TED talk and found it very interesting, so I decided to read her book.

Being that she is an academic that studies romantic love form an inter-disciplinary angle, I was eager to hear her thoughts.

I'd say I walked away from the book with a much stronger understanding of myself in relationships, the people around me and
Aaron Milavec
May 18, 2015 Aaron Milavec rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Currently reading Helen Fisher, WHY HIM? WHY HER? (2009). Found her book at the library. I’ve read most of it and I’m identifying myself as an Explorer:

You seek adventures of the mind and senses. You are very curious and creative, and you are willing to take some risks to pursue your interests. Adaptable and optimistic, you can be easily bored when you’re not doing something interesting. You have a lot of energy, and you tend to be spontaneous or even impulsive.

You are more creative than other p
Feb 10, 2009 Natali rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I was on Fox News' Red Eye with this author a few weeks ago. I was ready to write her off as a quack pot psychologist, probably because I was quite literally judging the book by the cover. I don't love the title but I did enjoy the book itself. I'm glad I received a copy after the show and even more glad that I picked it up a few nights ago before I fell asleep.

Fisher is a highly qualified biological anthropologist. She describes four archetypes of the human race. She scientifically discusses w
Jul 20, 2009 Jennifer rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
At first, I found the personality quizzes pretty interesting and entertaining, but she doesn't provide an explanation/solution about what to do with the personality results much. Upon closer examination, her argument is logically flaw. She provides 4 categories of personalities, but I scored some points on all 4. So there are parts of me in every type and it's not linear, just like others are not linear. There is around 306 million people (stated in Wikipedia) in America, but she didn't go into ...more
Dec 20, 2014 Leslie rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Fantastic! A must for anyone interested in self-understanding and a deeper understanding of those around you, and your relationships. I resonated with her personaltiy categories, now having a more nuanced understanding of the people in my life, past and present, and how our interactions were influenced by our respective types and traits. I experienced a significant gain in insight, which is always quite valuable and so fascinating.
Aug 09, 2015 Brooke rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
This book was recommended by a friend so I gave it a try. This book gave insightful details about different personality types and what values drive different people to act the way they do. It helped me understand all of my relationship better, not just the romantic ones. I was skeptical about the title, but I'm glad I decided to read it anyway.
Oh, I am indeed a Negotiator yet I never end up being with Directors since they intimidate me a bit but somehow we are a perfect match. The paradox is that subconsciously I know that I always need and look for Directors qualities, but somehow I find men which are Negotiators like me.

The first link to H. Fisher test is about the current state of your love life, and the second link tests your personality.
Jonathan Wichmann
I was thinking "Ridiculous title -- and not *another* personality system!" -- but it turned out to be interesting and valuable. Plus I discovered that lots of my friends had heard of Helen Fisher, from a Ted talk she did, so I had some fun conversations about it. And, I guess I'll admit that I took away a lot of good tips about relationships, not just romantic but with anyone. I'm always fascinated to think about how people may be wired differently and how to work with them most smoothly -- I do ...more
Jan 01, 2016 Kristen rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 2015
Loved this book! Dr. Fisher's background in anthropology gives a unique look into personality types due to our chemical makeup and why we pick the people we do to date. She explains how we unconsciously pick "mates" based on natural selection. The theories and research in this book are fascinating and if I decided to Internet date I would be more inclined towards or due to the way she has helped design the matching process.
Brad Revell
Mar 28, 2016 Brad Revell rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
It has been a long time since I have read a book focused on love and the rules of attraction; the last book being 'The Five Love Languages'. This book by Helen Fisher breaks down our traits into two categories (character and temperament). She further defines four personality types which is the main pillars of the book: Explorer, Builder, Director and Negotiator.

Part of the book contains a test in which you answer 4 sets of 14 questions to determine your type. Once you have identified this type i
155.264 FIS
CD 155.264 FIS
author is the scientific adviser to, a division of

I write HelenFisherPersonalityType.html to test personality type.

Some points that excludes in this book
1. p 39 Extroversion vs. Introversion, often ignore in definition of difference: how you get your energy. Extroversion get energy from others. Introvert are oriented inward, become relax and rested and reward when turns to inwards.
2. p41 neuroticism and anxiety.

Notes in this book:
1. Personality
Very interesting although at times repetitive.

I gotta say according to the test featured in the book I'm supposed to be a Negotiator but I find myself behaving in ways which would be categorized as Director.

Seems like my "Temperament" and my "Personality" are in conflict. I wish the author could have analyzed how our past experiences in our childhood and adolescence have influenced our "character". But I fear I'm asking for too much.

Overall, I really gobbled it up. The vocabulary is simple and t
Anita George
The basic premise is interesting, but I was hoping for more depth and more science. This reads like an ad for the online dating company that Fisher worked for, rather than scientific research. The premise is that certain personality types are based on biology, particularly associated with high levels of dopamine, seratonen (sp?), testosterone, and estrogen, but where is the scientific evidence? It seems to me that a some point one would need to test the subjects to see if they in fact have high ...more
May 15, 2016 Andrew rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
The data and relationship insight Fisher provides is nothing short of evolutionary. The book is my 'gateway drug' into a hunger for deeper understanding of what makes us all tick, but more importantly, how we synchronize with a partner. The science that backs Fisher's findings avoids the purely feel-good but ultimately hollow and baseless recreational reading that often passes for relationship 'advice.' Not only will you learn about yourself and why you often do (or don't do) exhibit certain pat ...more
Adam Wiggins
Picked this one up after seeing Helen Fischer's presentation on Love & Sex at the Being Human conference: I was intrigued by her research on the effect of major neurotransmitters (serotonin, dopamine) and hormones (testosterone, estrogen) on our behavior and choice of mates, so I picked up this book to learn more.

Unfortunately it devolves a bit into the old self-help routine: take a quiz to find out your personality type, then read about that personal
Dec 15, 2015 Heather rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
I couldn't do it. Any hopes for interesting insights into human beings were sadly squelched even in the introduction. This book is mostly a self-serving advertisement for ("a division of!"). The author has nothing new to offer in terms of personality profiles, but, boy, does she try to make a case for why her "scientific," "biological" classifications are both direct descendants of ancient systems (e.g. the four humours) and yet totally, completely new and way more accura ...more
Nov 06, 2014 Robert rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
I like reading Fisher, but this book disappointed me a bit. I understand she's trying to write for a large audience, but this one felt significantly lighter than I remember "Why We Love" (which was still light). The best stuff is sandwiched in the middle where she breaks down her synthesis of the neurochemistry of love and attraction and a classic love typology. Annoying to me was the list of references in the back that Fisher didn't take care to clearly relate to the text in the book. Personall ...more
Jul 18, 2016 Freeny rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Interesting premise, but pseudo-science at it's finest. It's pop psychology gilded with a sprinkling of "some scientists say" and "some researchers claim".

Fisher's premise is interesting. She posits that there are four basic personality types: Explorer, Builder, Director, Negotiator, based on people that are more sensitive to dopamine, serotonin, testosterone, or estrogen. This would have made, perhaps, an interesting article in a science magazine, but from this theory she draws unsupported conc
Ana Maria Rînceanu
This was very interesting. I need to read it again.
Dec 17, 2014 Goran rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Simple, on point book about why and how we choose our better half.
Aside from that, the most value in this book is actually in getting to know more about yourself, why you do things the way you do, and how to use it in future. Knowledge from this book can also be used with all people, not just in romantic relationship. It's phenomenal ability to know what makes people tick. After reading this book you will probably have a pretty clear idea of why your past relationships went sour or why they're s
Oct 24, 2015 mion rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: relationship
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Alex Lee
Sep 17, 2015 Alex Lee rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 2015, essays
A self help book about love. Takes the view that neurochemicals formulate the basis for each individual's personality type. Basic formulas of self help books follow a two step pattern. 1) establish categorical understanding. 2) apply categories to the world. This book does exactly that. Proof of this is the author's work and statistical data she has from a match making website she consulted with. It's possible to see people's primary behaviors calibrated to a predominance with certain neurochemi ...more
Feb 08, 2015 Mai rated it liked it
why him why her? why do we get attracted and fall in love with certain people and not others? the book answers that question thoroughly based on a scientific research .
the book is about how to choose your perfect mate based on the four personality types and for sure you will identify each personality type by their unique characteristics , all the time while reading this book i kept associating it with astrology .there is four personality types : Explorers ,Builders,Directors and Negotiators ,whe
Jul 13, 2009 Kimm rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This book was fascinating as a study into the 4 basic personality types (Builder, Negotiator, Explorer, Director) and that each is driven by a particular brain chemical (Serotonin, Estrogen, Dopamnine, Testosterone, respectively. There is a personality test in chapter 2, and by taking it, you will see your primary and secondary type. It discusses that our behaviors are truly 'hard wired' based on our brain chemical activities. While the book is geared towards single people looking for a mate, we ...more
Christina Mitchell
I am evidently a NEGOTIATOR/Explorer (emphasis Fisher's as the capitals indicate my predominant character supported by the secondary character). Odd combination, in my opinion, which possibly explains why I am a bit scattered in terms of relationships. Completely giving and generous, understanding and reeling in possibilities of a long-lasting partnership, I am extremely independent and find myself enjoying brief encounters as I move on to the next fancy. When I love, I love deeply, but insist o ...more
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Helen E. Fisher is an anthropology professor and human behavior researcher at the Rutgers University and is one of the major researchers in the field of romantic interpersonal attraction.Prior to becoming a research professor at Rutgers University, she was a research associate at the American Museum of Natural History in New York City.

By many accounts, Fisher is considered the world’s leading expe
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