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- Romantic Intimacy
Keys to Successful Love
Are you happy in love? Successful in love? Know what love is? Perhaps, you are a failure in love? In search of love?
As the Beatles once sang, "All you need is love" or "The love you take is equal to the love you make", couples eternally have sought that elusive four letter word. Even food in your grocery store is labeled Evol (love spelled backwards!). Some succeed greatly in it, some utterly fail and fail and fail again until they stop looking. Others, just avoid it to protect their emotional well being. Yet, even those you have failed many times either openly or secretly look for it, it is an eternal hope to find Real Love (as, once again, The Beatles sang in 1994). Is love an infatuation with another? Chemical? Psychological? Maybe, God IS love? That perfect harmony between two humans that is deep and intense. Or, is love, God's gift?
We all know it when when first experience it. There is something chemically and magnetically that draws two strangers together. Describing it is hard. It almost instantly occurs and both parties know it because neither can willingly pull away. Mutual attraction leads to physical bonding: the first hug, first kiss, first sex. The first hug or kiss often sends electrical waves through each other's body with such intensity it is hard to stop.
But there is a psychology to love and in a recent study, after studying couples for decades, familiar patterns emerge.But, how long does it really take to fall in love? Th study shows it takes only 1/5th of one second. In that little time, the brain produces certain chemicals that impact 12 areas of the brain. Love for someone triggers neurotransmitters that include oxytocin, dopamine, vasopressin and adrenaline. The study shows these are the same group of chemicals that a small dose of cocaine triggers. There no wonder why depressed people are hooked on cocaine. The study also shows that in the brain, there is much overlap of areas that sex and love desires. Sex is not just physical but a goal directed motivator that leads to other thoughts of love. Sex is like glue between two in the beginning.
Women consider kissing an important function and indicator in finding the right one. It is a good way to test the potential mate, yet, the study shows kissing plays a less role once the relationship occurs but remains important. In fact, kissing for long term partners and the quality of their relationship showed it made a difference. Having more sex did not improve the relationship generally speaking as the relationship ages.
What kills love?
Anyone who has been rejected or in a divorce or separated, knows how hard it is to move on. The person becomes jaded about love after it occurring many times until they no longer expect it or try to find love. Life without love or feeling love is barren and cold. Humans need love in some way to avoid in becoming a terrorist or criminal.
The study revealed sure killers, over repeated times, that kills love in a relationship. These are:
- Repeated criticism
- Expressions of contempt or sarcasm
- Either person being on the defensive
- Stonewalling or using passive aggression
- Failure in doing activities together
In many relationships, the last three will shut down most communication between the couple and mistrust or other thoughts will eat away the remaining rubble. The study showed that a couple in trouble should watch 4-5 movies together to give them both TLC. It seems the movies open up dialogue that otherwise would not occur and this leads to better feelings. However, if there is a divorce or end to love, there are ways it can end, and both can steer it. They are:
- Dissolved, partners just go separate ways
- Good pals, both remain on good terms
- Angry foes, fighting ignites when face to face
- Very Angry, each party continues aggression at some level. If kids are involved, they are used as pawns and end up getting hurt.
In a poll of 4000 adults, the common thing in love that is most liked is being kind to the other party in some little way. When naked, tell them you love their body, surprise them with something they like-out of the blue, doing chores the other hates and avoids, or just any little thing.
As The Beatles once sang, Every Little Thing (1965) is what love is all about.