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All about *L*O*V*E*


A force so powerful that it brings the mightiest warrior to his knees, so elusive that countless would give their lives to find it. Something once so mysterious, is now being broken down to the chemical level by the modern science. Tragic, isn't it?

Of course when we talk about love in this context, it's not the Biblical love that Christ speaks of, but it refers to romantic attraction and infatuation, with a bit of lust stirred in for good measure.

With Valentine's day quickly approaching, magazines everywhere are doing features on love, sex, and dating. Even TV commercials are switching to the cupid mode, appealing to the masses with the promise of love with a slash of a credit card. Even one of my favorite magazines, National Geographic, chose to get into the fray and does a segment on love. Although it didn't say anything revolutionary, nor did it tell me something I haven't heard before, it was nevertheless interesting.

My favorite parts were probably this:

"Marazziti compared the lovers' serotonin levels with those of a group of people suffering from OCD and another group who were free from both passion and mental illness. Levels of serotonin in both the obsessives' blood and the lovers' blood were 40 percent lower than those in her normal subjects. Translation: Love and obsessive-compulsive disorder could have a similiar chemical profile. Translation: Love and mental illness may be difficult to tell apart. Translation: Don't be a fool. Stay away."

and this ... (I think that I get a dopamine imbalance every 6 months ... infatuation & then nothing to show for)

"Love lights up the caudate nucleus because it is home to a dense spread of receptors for a neurotransmitter called dopamine, which Fisher came to think of as part of our own endogenous love potion. In the right proportions, dopamine creates intense energy, exhilaration, focused attention, and motivation to win rewards. It is why, when you are newly in love, you can stay up all night, watch the sun rise, run a race, ski fast down a slope ordinarily too steep for your skill. Love makes you bold, makes you bright, makes you run real risks, which you sometimes survive, and sometimes you don't."

You've got to admit that science has a weird way of putting things. Everyone who have ever had an infatuation knows that it does strange things to you. Whether it be dopamine or serotonin, it makes your heart pump faster and gives you this sense of exhilaration and excitement ... but deep inside (at least for me, I'm a cynic), you just know that this feeling won't last, and it was never meant to. In some ways, it IS a mental/physical anomaly ... this thing called love.

All these scientific explanations should at least open the eyes of the naive. These chemicals don't normally reside in your body at such extreme levels for a prolonged period of time, which means that the passionate uncontrollable love that you feel for a person at first is bound to dip and plateau. So of course it makes sense that after a while, you are "falling out of love for her" or "the feelings just aren't as strong anymore." After all, love isn't something that comes and sweeps you off your feet, true love is a choice and requires mental and emotional commitment to the extreme.


(picture and excerpts courtesy of National Geographic - Feb 06)

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  • Blogger dimsum807 says so:
    5:31 PM  

    yay for dopamine! i like that last paragraph. loving a person is a choice that each of us make and it requires work. it's sad that our society don't emphasize that enough. top

  • Blogger katgyrl says so:
    7:55 PM  

    mm i had this conversation with a friend last year. well, two friends. oh, the arguments i had to hear that night... i believe true love is all about commitments also. top

  • Anonymous h3nr0 says so:
    11:09 PM  

    that's such a negative view of love man. i'm going to blog too. top

  • Blogger Ken says so:
    11:45 PM  

    haha how is this negative? love is more than chemicals ... it takes us up where we belong, all you need is love! (remind you of a movie yet?)

    henry, don't despair, I'm trying to find it too. But then I already said, love is a choice, you just got to find the right one. Be patient. top

  • Blogger Matt Mikalatos says so:
    11:37 AM  

    I remember this song that some guy sang at camp when I was in high school:

    "Is this love or just the flu?"

    You know, I feel nauseous, my hands sweat, get nervous when "she" is around. top

  • Blogger Matt Mikalatos says so:
    11:31 PM  

    In case you're wondering, it was just the flu. At least for me. Or possibly food poisoning. top

  • Blogger Ken says so:
    12:33 AM  

    no wonder ... i get the flu all the time. I'm ready to catch something else. top

  • Anonymous essiemay says so:
    6:19 AM  

    actually, I think when you are really "in love," you don't feel all that "chemical." there is a STRONG difference between infatuation and love. when you are infatuated, you might as well be drunk...you are high, you are not yourself, your head is spinning, you are emotional... but in the end, all it leaves you with is a huge ugly headache. and the older you are, the worse the hangover...that is a messiness of an infatuation...

    but love....

    is much sweeter, more satisfying, and more stable...

    i think...

    could be very wrong... top