What does the word love make you think? Do you ever think of fairy tale romances and love songs and romantic cruises? When someone mentions they are in love, do we associate it to this crazy, addictive and so irresistible feeling. Is love something that is magical, unattainable at times and crazy and exhilarating at on other times? Or love can be learned?
Learning About Love
When we were young, we read fairy tales of a princess being rescued by a prince. We read book and watched movies that showed us the ideal kind of love. People normally associate love to a spontaneous and magical feeling that is just unexplainable.
Most of us learned that love is about kindness and trust, but those things are taught often secondarily to the message that love has to be this fantasy like feeling. We were made to believe that love has to be totally passionate and that love saves the day.
I don’t want to be cynical but love should not just be a feeling, Love should be an active choice.
Can We Learn to Love?
Yes we can!
As humans, we have the propensity to learn many things. We learn to feel emotions as we grow. When we were young, we were only selfish and thought about our feelings and needs alone. But as we grew up, we learned that kindness begets kindness.
1. Friends falling in love – Now this is one of the most beautiful things about learning to love someone we thought of just friends before. Friends are people who know us well and accept us for who we are, flaws and all. Friendship is a very good place to begin a loving relationship
A lot of times, we set friends aside for the pursuit of that one great love that we have read about. But we forget that our friends are beautiful/handsome, funny and smart people that are already in our lives.
2. Arranged marriage and matchmaking – 60% of the world’s marriages are arranged marriages. They are often unions between people who may or may not be fully attracted to one another, but fall in love gradually as they learn about the person.
These marriages, because they did not start in passion, normally lasts longer. Passion is good, but as you know fire may give warmth and life, but it may also burn. Once passion burns out and the relationship falls into the mundane day to day life, people tend to feel resentful of their partners.
Fixed marriages may not be the stuff of dreams but they prove that love can blossom.
3. Online dating sites – Online dating sites have been looked down upon before but are now making waves. They prove that personality can allow you to like someone to like someone and just by talking to another another person, we can fall in love.
Online dating can relieve the stress of knowing if the person is a good match for you. You can know right away if his or her interest is suitable to yours. You can also have a fun safe envirolment to meet many people.
The Dynamics of Love
Love comes in stages. The most common one people see is the lust filled part or the sweet moments. Actually love comes in stages of hormonal and neurotransmitters emitted in our brains. Hormones make us feel different emotions and think of different thoughts.
1. Testosterone and dopamine – Testosterone make us feel excited and sexually aggressive. This hormone influences how we approach the person we like. Dopamine on the other hand makes us feel addicted to the person because dopamine is a hormone responsible for feeling of seeking pleasure.
2. Endorphins and Serotonin – These hormones are responsible for making us feel happy and content. They also make us feel us feel motivated and energized. This drives us to see the relationship as something filled with happiness.
3. Oxytocin – Oxytocin is the bonding hormone. This is the hormone normally released after having sex to allow the person not to just run away after mating, but to take care of the future offspring in the prehistoric times.
Oxytocin is also released through hugging, laughing together and sharing good moments. This is a very powerful hormone that allows people to stay in relationships even for years. Oxytocin also drives loyalty and faithfulness.
4. Cortisol – Cortisol is the stress hormone. It makes us feel agitated. It raises our blood pressure, hampers our ability to sleep and gives us an irritated feeling. We normally have this during arguments and issues with a partner.
Love and Life
Love is not just about passion and lust. It also not just about sweet moments. Love is a choice people have to make way after the sparks are gone. We also need to know that love should be learned many times in the relationship. Sometimes our partners make us feel that we are unhappy, but we must continue to love and be faithful.
Life is not a fairy tale, but it does not mean it cannot be beautiful. We need to learn how to love those around us so that we can feel content and happy.