Hi my name is Monica and I have an obsessive personality. I obsess about a specific concept or idea so much so that if it were a living being it would take the liberty of
walking running full force off of a cliff just to escape my undying need to think about it, learn about it, plan around it, and do anything else pertaining to it that I possibly could.
This is probably why after twenty-something years I still cannot pinpoint exactly what I want to do with my life but that is a topic for another day.
This month’s topic of obsession is… drumroll please… the topic of love.
I have taken the liberty of doing some independent research just for the pure reason of interest and intrigue. In the last week I’ve spent hours watching interviews and documentaries about why we do what we do, why we love, and what kind of chemical reactions happen in that noggin of ours when we feel those deep feelings.
For me, the way our brains work and essentially force us to feel the wrath of love is unquestionably interesting.
Of course there are aspects that really resonate with me when learning about the whole concept of that four-letter word, but what was most interesting was learning about Helen Fisher, a biological anthropologist who knows more about the topic than most of the American population combined. She is my spirit animal, for sure.
Anyways, this woman has investigated all the traits and characteristics that go into what makes someone love another person or what happens when they do, etc. She is definitely interesting and worth the Google search if you wanted to know more.
One thing she said that really stuck with me was
“People who are rejected in love will kill for it. People live for love, they kill for love, they die for love.”
When looking back at old literature, myths, artwork, and other ancient artifacts, the major concept is often that of love. It is not lust and sex drive that left us infamous stories like Romeo and Juliet, it is love and it is romance. Romantic love is not just a feeling that we have it is literally a drive that we are compelled by and a part of our neurological makeup. It is something that is so powerful it leaves people mad.
Fisher went on to talk about the three major components of love:
- lust (sexual gratification),
- attachment (feelings of a union),
- And attraction (romance).
Lust, attraction, and attachment can be intertwined or practiced with completely different people and I have seen and even experienced that, first-hand. There are people in my life that I love with every ounce of my soul; our family is the prime example. Of course we are not attracted to or lusting for our family members (by the way, that is prohibited in all fifty of the United States, with some minor exceptions #gross). Even in past relationships, I now understand that even though I may continue to have love for these individuals, I am not necessarily checking the boxes of lust or attraction and it is possible for friendships to remain if that is understood. Most importantly, that is okay. We cannot control the way our mind works or why we feel all of these things for one person and maybe none for another. Even scientists don’t have answers to the questions of “why him?” or “why not her?”
One part of our brain that becomes active with feelings of love displays the same patterns it would after a typical dose of strong cocaine. This force that acts as both a fuel for life and also utter destruction is natural and inevitable and a roller coaster we must all experience. When it comes to romantic love, these reactions are going to happen with or without our consent and when they do they will sweep us off our feet or cause our world to implode on itself because it is such a strong and powerful emotion and we have no choice but to succumb to it.
So my week of TED talks and documentaries was eye opening and insightful and you would benefit to watch Helen Fisher’s speech if any of this strikes interest in you. Which it should… because you too have a brain.
Why we love, Why we cheat