Research into brains of couples experiencing romantic love in young relationships (0-12 months) says that early stage of affection and love is similar to obsession, very much like OCD. Science now accepts that love is indeed a state of mind (http://www.vislab.ucl.ac.uk/pdf/NeuralBasisOfLove.pdf)
Brain scans of couples, which are happily in love for more than 20 years are looking ... very similar to the ones who are freshly in love (http://www.helenfisher.com/downloads/articles/Acevedo-et-alLong-term.pdf)
Statistics and common wisdom says romantic phase of a relationship lasts up to an year. Or does it not?
There are awful lot of couples in miserable relationships which drag for years. Couples sometimes literally hate each other, can't stand each other, and yet it seems they can not live without each other. Or are they? Who are those couples? Have we discovered which characteristics are specific to such relationships? Are they together for other reasons - kids, social status, the weight of their past, money? Or is it in their brains? Something stronger keeping them together?
Then who are the couples which survive, sustain, and preserve the feeling or the state of love trough the years (science now proves love can last for tens of years) and 20 years later have the brains of new-lovers?
When love dies in the brain, do couples separate?
What the brains of the couples' in "miserable" state look like - the ones claiming they are in love, and the ones claiming their are just together for "other reasons"?
My practical question is - do we know what do do in order to keep us in love-state, in love-emotion, so that we stay at such state like .. forever? And at the same time - keeping us happy, satisfied, and feeling complete. Can we devise some simple rules for housekeeping a relationship based on our scientific knowledge and awareness of preserving the love while avoiding the misery?
I think I have those rules now! It just needs two to prove. And time! Anyone ;)?
Simple questions, aren't they?
Monday, July 9, 2012
Friday, July 6, 2012
As a boy I dreamed of space travel. I wanted to visit other stars.
Then I wanted to be famous scientist, to make great discoveries.
Then I grew up.
I ended up just earning money.
For quite some time I believed "that's my purpose in life". To make money?!
I found love. Again. I have forgotten it exists at all. It changed me. Now again, grown up, and more intent.
I found out that the simplest things are most gratifying to me.
I didn't need to do great scientific discoveries.
I was happy to discover the smile of my love every morning.
I was happy to fall in love - every day!
I found out - my purpose in life is to love. To give. To share. To belong.
This somehow have completed my set of core values. Have completed me.
I have my kids. They are perfect, and my love to them - eternal. Special. Calm.
Once in a while, in our short lives we are sometimes happy to encounter that very person, who is perfect to us. Perfect to us does not mean perfect per se. He or she is just perfect to us.
I found out that feeling a connection, being part of a relationship is like nothing else.
Talking like that about love is emotionally engaging. But!
Is love enough to sustain a relationship?
Even if you go over all the obstacles, make perfect fit of both of you? YOU are still living in a world full of its legacy, open to the environment.
And sometimes, most of times, legacy and environment comes out and hits you. Hard. A kill shot.
Than it hurts. You go on a kill mission - to kill love. All out mission. And guess what? It comes out bullet proof. Surviving.
But - what is love?
Is it just a set of processes we trigger in ourselves when we met someone special?
Scientists say so.
"Love" enables flexibility and focus - it is one of the rare game changers.
It rewires our brain, in a way.
Scientists who study neuroplasticity say that brain plasticity is enabled by experiencing change.
Evolutionary, love have came out of the need to fight the basic animal instincts to perceive other fellow animals as a thread. Complimented by the sex drive (or lust), love has evolved to allow us to get focus on the selected partner, reaching physical contact in order to reproduce.
In humans love is the ultimate way to blur one's comfort zone.
Which is an enabler of change.
So being in love is paving the way for changing someone's core values. And almost everything he/she allow.
Anyway - does this simple scientific explanation makes it less brilliant and engaging?
No by me. Not at all.
Does this makes us suffer less when it ends? No.
But it's ok. There is the whole world out there to discover. Back to the kid's dreams?