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Inception: 09/14/06
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Institute of Human Thermodynamics

In supramolecular chemistry, host-guest chemistry describes complexes that are composed of two or more molecules or ions held together in unique structural relationships by hydrogen bonding or by ion pairing or by Van der Waals forces other than those of full covalent bonds.  In biology, a host, an organism that harbors a guest parasite, mutual partner, or commensal partner; or a cell infected by a virus.  In host-guest chemistry, a host molecule, such as a receptor, accepts a guest molecule.

In human chemistry, by analogy, human molecules are held together via "human chemical bonds" which have in the past been referred to as human bonds using psychological constructs such as attachment theory or imprinting as a basis.  Subsequently, if, by logical extrapolation, we were to use the models of supramolecular chemistry to facilitate our understanding of human complexes, such as a husband and wife in a bonded marriage relationship, then who would be the host and who would be the guest?  Comparative structures, for example, might be supramolecular assemblies, which are well defined complexes of molecules held together by noncovalent bonds, or a husband-wife bonding might be similar to a molecular tweezer, which are supramolecular structures that have a special molecular geometry that permits them to contain a guest molecule between two arms, as shown below:

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Research Project #8 ('06)
Who is the Host and Who is the Guest
in Human Relationships?
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Molecular Tweezers
(host-guest assemblies)
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Based on the above logic, if we were to divide human romantic pairs categorically in terms of one of two types of chemical species, i.e. hosts and guests, which would be the female and which would be the male?  To find a first approximation to this answer, in 2006 the IoHT polled 27 people (9 men, 18 women), as to the query: "who is the host and who is the guest in typical intimate human relationships?"  The results were generally inconclusive.  Responses varied based on whether people thought in terms of mental, physical, or emotional bonding or in terms of who carries the child; more investigation will be needed in this area.  A few of the responses are shown below:

Votes for [Women = Host]

"Women are the host, hosts are supposed to be warm and caring, and women are warm and caring."

"The woman would be the host only because she can bear children."

"The women would be the host; she’s the one you’ve got to impregnate."

"The man is the guest, because she caters to his needs, she cooks, she cleans, etc."

"The woman is the host because she carries the babies."

"The host is the one that receives the guest; the man enters the woman, who is the host."

"The female is the host; it is the male who enters the female’s body; females are delicate and the scent of them attracts males who select the female."

"The female is the host because they have the power to make the relationship work or not."

"The female is the host."

"The female is the host."

"The woman is the host."

"The woman is the host; it’s the man that courts the woman, i.e. the man has to approach the woman."

Votes for [Men = Host]

"The man is the host, he’s typically the more dominant one in the relationship, the female is typically strolling along with what he’s hosting."

"In India, the man is always the host, he controls everything, tries to make the guest feel comfortable."

"The man is always the host; they take us out to dinner."

"The man is the host because ladies deserve respect."

Votes for [Either = Host]

"The one that takes the initiative, says ‘let’s do this’, ‘let’s do that’, ‘let’s go there’, etc.; i.e. the one who comes up with the ideas."

"It depends on the personality; the host would be the dominant one."

"The host is the ‘lead’ and the guest is the one who makes the bigger sacrifice; i.e. the host is the leader or the stronger one."

"The guest is the one who moves into or joins the other person’s life."

"The host is the one whose life is more stable."

"It depends; but typically if a man has established himself in his career, bought a house, etc., he then goes out and gets a young women who doesn’t have much going for her other than good looks and a nice personality; hence he is the host."
(Johnny G.)

"The host is the one who does all the work, i.e. cleans and pays the rent; therefore if the pair breaks up, the guest will be the one to leave."

"The host is the one who runs the show; the guest is the one who doesn’t have an opinion or is afraid to give one; the entity that is in need of something is the guest."
(Jackie M.)

"The one who’s always giving is the host; the one who’s always taking is the guest."