The basic human need for positive social connections that have evolutionary and social roots is the foundation of love relationships. These origins can be traced all the way back to the beginning of recorded history. (Karandashev, 2022, chapter 3).
The evolutionary need for bonding and love derived from the early evolutionary distinction between “ingroup” and “outgroup.” The “ingroup” is us, and the “outgroup” is them.
The need to belong to an “ingroup” became the core of human motivation. Belonging to an “ingroup” provided security, subsistence, and psychological attachment to others whom they needed for survival.
The Evolutionary Need to Belong
People clearly benefit from living in cooperative and supportive groups that work together and help each other. People who live with others are safer and have a greater sense of physical, social, and psychological survival security. They had more consistent access to food and a greater capacity to defend themselves from raiders due to cooperation. Therefore, those ancestors of humans who lived in tribal communities had a greater chance of surviving.
People are “social animals” that have survived because they worked together, helped, and supported each other, their family, and their tribe. While hunting, they discovered that more hands are always better than two. As food gatherers, they gained protection from threats by traveling in groups. Those with a stronger sense of community were more likely to live longer. They had more and better offspring, which made them the dominant genetic group.
“Love as a means of community bonding” is the main thing that brings people together and makes their relationships stronger. As social beings, they have a better chance of staying alive when they live together because they can help each other. This is why the need to belong is intrinsic to human nature. Subsequently, men and women have an innate need to belong.
Social Bonding That Enables Human Physical Survival
When people belong to a social group, they have a greater chance of surviving because the group can provide better access to resources for maintaining sustenance and security. Those who live in tribal communities have a greater sense of security in their social connections than those who live alone. When members of a community work together to share resources, it makes it easier for them all to obtain food, water, and shelter. In addition to this, they are better able to defend themselves against predators as well as aggressive outsiders attacking them.
Social Bonding That Empowers Psychological Survival
In a later stage of evolution, human motivation also included the need for psychological security in addition to physical security. In tribal subsistence-based and traditional collectivistic societies, extended family, kin, and the tribal community provided sufficient conditions for secure social bonding. The ties of tribal community and kinship were the social relations that kept people together in many small-scale, low-technology societies of the past.
Over the course of evolution, the need to belong to a group and feel safe psychologically and emotionally became the driving force behind all human behavior. Strengthening one’s physical and psychological strength, as well as developing supportive relationships, became vital to surviving in life.
Thus, bonding, the need to belong, and the need for love all have their roots in our evolutionary past, which I discussed at length elsewhere (Karandashev, 2022, chapter 3).
How People Were Domesticated
Natural selection almost certainly played a role in the development of social abilities, social bonding, and prosocial behavior during the course of human evolutionary history. “Domestication syndrome” was at work with humans in the same way as with animals.
Brian Hare, a Professor of Evolutionary Anthropology at Duke University, proposed the theory that explains the “Survival of the Friendliest” (Hare, 2017). According to this theory, humans domesticated themselves in the latter stages of evolution. In the course of evolution, human social skills emerged and evolved when natural selection began to favor in-group pro-sociality over aggression.
Social characteristics in humans evolved as a result of a “domestication syndrome” similar to that seen in other domesticated animals. The meta-analysis of many studies from the fields of paleoanthropology, neurobiology, and developmental biology was in accord with this evolutionary theory of domestication (Hare, 2017).