Lovely post by Dave on Chemistry of Love.
Short of it:
That’s all we seem to know so far. But it’s enough to suggest that we can’t help ourselves — love is not something our minds have any control over. That’s both delicious and terrifying, … And when we lose it, like an addict going through withdrawal cold turkey, there is no greater agony.
Long of it:
There is still a lot of controversy about what happens in our bodies when we love, or fall in love, and to what extent the chemical soup of love determines what and how we feel. But there seems to be a consensus emerging.
What we are learning is that the chemistry of erotic love is different from that of the intellectual, emotional and sensual aspects of love. Erotic love also seems to be quite different in men than in women: in women it is less provoked by visual stimuli, and takes longer to arise in the first place and then longer to be slaked. Other aspects of love, from the intellectual love of ideas and of imaginings and of learning, to the emotional love of friends and partners and children and nature, to the sensual, aesthetic love of beauty, art and music, tend to me closely interwoven, less ‘separable’ from each other than from erotic love.
love is a consequence of a veritable cocktail of at least four different chemicals being released by the body, in an astonishing number of locations.
Phenylethylamine gives us the feeling of unbounded euphoria and energy we feel, especially when we first ‘fall’ in love.
Dopamine and neopinephrine give us the less ecstatic feeling of well-being and bliss, that wonderful mellow feeling that all’s right with the world.
Oxytocin is often called the ‘cuddling’ hormone — it is what makes us want to touch, caress, embrace and protect the one we love. It also increases the nurturing urge, and lowers our trust threshold, sometimes with disastrous results when we find that trust betrayed.
The cuddling and caresses in turn increase the production of phenylethylamine, dopamine and neopinephrine, so the self-reinforcing overdose of these hormones can be overwhelming, transformational.
Cruelly, over time, our bodies build up resistance to these four chemicals, and, except for those so addicted they abandon those they love to seek new thrills that start the cocktail over again, we begin to go through a slow withdrawal. We re-become our old selves.
Nature, and our bodies, having hooked us with the mind-blowing cocktail, now keep us hooked with a more enduring, low-key, matter-of-fact addictive drug. Testosterone and estrogen add the spice to reinforce that attachment, to keep us connected to the same people instead of wandering. Sometimes, anyway.
And my comments on Dave’s post about Communities based on Love:
Nice Concept but some of the points made in the comments are valid.
A Community with a purpose – would fall into something I call ‘complexity science’ domain.
One should have a few basic rules and others guidelines. Things I would list would be around 3 or 4 things say:
1. Love (if defined in a broader way it would include Trust, Honesty, responsibility, sensitivity and expressiveness)
2. Curiosity (same way lots of them when coupled with Love and Curiosity are derivative in nature i.e Intelligence, Passion, Imagination, Creativity)
3. Strength (ability to Deal with the unexpected, loss, randomness)
I think self-sufficiency will be something that will evolve. But its should absent for the community to grow initially. There needs to be constant activity – either CONSUME and CREATE
Would like to know your thoughts over email … Keep writing on this line of thought 🙂 I am curious 😛