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The science of genetic sexual attraction

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What Lytton didn't know was that the consequences of that love would plunge him into the most devastating crisis of his life. The situation is far worse than that. Despite forming a warm friendship with Lytton, and meeting him several times a year either abroad or in Britain, Meadows, a divorcee, has never shared his feelings.

Irritated and, at times, angry with his outpourings of affection, she recently emailed him curtly to think of her as "just a casual friend". Unable to The science of genetic sexual attraction himself to her indifference, Lytton's subsequent depression and sense of rejection, and the continuing compulsion to declare his feelings, are no different from the irrational fixation and emotions that mark any young adult's first major infatuation.

In the circumstances, Lytton's new-found love was doomed to be a nonstarter. He is a married man of 66, semi-retired, with grown-up children and grandchildren.

The story might be relatively straightforward, and there may even have been a happy ending of sorts had he merely fallen for a woman half The science of genetic sexual attraction age or abandoned his family to start a new life in another country. Instead, his love for Meadows represents society's most abhorrent taboo. She is his younger sister, adopted as a baby shortly after the death of their mother from an illness contracted after the birth, when Lytton was two.

Although Meadows had no idea she had a brother, Lytton, who was raised by his stepmother after his father's death during the second world war, had always known of her existence, but waited until to begin searching for her. The party at which they met had been organised by Lytton, with the help of his wife and children, as a celebratory reunion after he had tracked down The science of genetic sexual attraction year-old sister in Durban.

Even in front of my wife, I made no attempt to hide my adoration, I just buzzed whenever she was around. It was as if no one else existed. The two biggest mistakes I made were deluding myself that I could become all-important in her life, a brother and a surrogate lover, even though she didn't desire me, and then believing I could control and resolve the problem by myself.

When we met, Lytton brought with him several large files bulging with four years' correspondence, mainly email printouts, to and from Rita. A tall, white-haired and articulate man, he has recorded every emotion, thought and incident involving his sister since their reunion. Photographs taken on his trips to South Africa, and on her visits to Scotland, show a vivacious and elegant redhead, seemingly little older than From the sharp intake of breath as he begins reading aloud from his correspondence, it is clear that his feelings are still raw.

Letters written shortly after their reunion begin with such endearments as "my special girl", "goddess", "darling miracle", "my princess". Declaring that she "walks on water", Lytton confesses how much he misses and thinks of her, miserable at the distance between Edinburgh and Durban. The places they have visited together are described as "sacred shrines". But a persistent undercurrent of uncertainty and despair runs through almost every message, as he urges her to write more frequently and to reveal her own feelings.

You illuminate my life But how important am I to you?

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