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My View of Love


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A basic misunderstanding of the emotion of Romantic Love prevails in society today. There is a reason it is called "chemistry" between two people. There are actual brain chemicals that influence how we react to select members of the opposite gender. The nasty chemical involved, Phenethylamine (PEA) is responsible and it can influence us for 18 to 36 months according to Helen Fisher in her book "The Anatomy of Love."


It does not matter what life situation you find yourself occupying. If you do not have a present flame, you are open to the influence. Even if you are married and have a wonderful life with everything you ever wanted, you are open. If your passions are not fed in your marriage, you are open for the influence of this chemistry. It is important to have passions beyond the physical and that these passions be visited frequently by the pair. The physical in reality may be only 10 percent of a marriage and most of that is consumed in the first three years.


Crushes, infatuations, obsessive love, romantic love; they are all the same thing in reality. There are juvenile connotations to the first two of these. The second is considered a mental disorder. The last is considered the adult version of true love. I believe some of us fall harder in-love than others. Some thrive on shallow love relationships for a lifetime. Some require deeper relationships. Others remain miserable because the shallow love, prevailing in some bad marriages, does not satisfy one or both partners. I believe this is a major reason in adultery beyond just getting married for the physical.


Helen Fisher's book also talks about the two phases of love, Attraction, Phase I (in-love); and Attachment (love) Phase II. Phase II can last a lifetime if the passions are shared and nurtured. Phase I results in the brain being saturated with PEA resulting in "crushes, infatuations, obsessive love, and romantic love." Phase II is considered the comforting stable stage most often associated with a mature love.


I hope this helps some of you understand where you are today. I know if I had heard these things in my teens and twenties I could have avoided many visits to the therapist and would have a happier marriage. I would have made different choices.

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