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February 28, 2011 | by  | in Features |
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Love, Factually

It is widely theorized that most of the human race’s language abilities-—and, interestingly, the various tastes that people have in music—evolved primarily as a process to better select and judge reproductive fitness and compatibility. So, any and every conversation you have is a subconscious seduction attempt, and any conversation you have ever had that did not immediately end in copulation was a meaningless failure.

Science rather cynically tells us that everything we do is building towards mating. We are little flesh computers and our primary programming is to manufacture other little meat machines. Everything we do circles back to the popping of sprogs—in purely physical and biological terms, at the least.

But what does that mean for love? Is it just a chemical fault in the brain? Is just some psycho-spasm to make us stick together long enough for our kiddie-winks to not die?

It certainly seems that way.

Anthropologists generally break the love rollercoaster into three stages. First, there is lust, an initial explosion of testosterone and estrogen through your brain tubes. It lasts only a few weeks—a couple of months at the most. This exposes people to others and promotes mating.

If feelings of lust are found to be reciprocated, stage two then begins: sexual attraction. This floods the brain with pheromones, dopamine and serotonin, which basically act like amphetamines. These also create in the brain a state of Obsessive Compulsive Disorder. It is oddly reassuring that people do actually go mad with love. This lasts for between several months and three-odd years. This is to precipitate the insemination of the woman (if you know what I mean!).

Then comes stage three: attachment. This step, neurologically, is incredibly similar to how a parent imprints on their child. This profound sense of dependency does however decay over time if it isn’t periodically renewed.

Yay.

And so, we can conclude that love is not a state. It is a series of actions. The delightfully-named psychologist and author of The Art of Loving Eric Fromm says that love starts out as an involuntary feeling, but quickly becomes a conscious commitment. The series of loving actions that we perform under the conscious pretense of love is not some charade. That is love. The seemly false embodiment of an emotion in fact generates that emotion within the brain. Just as smiling makes you feel happy (try it—it works), acting like you’re in love with someone will often actually make you fall in love with them. There is no platonic ideal of love only the shadow on the walls of our heart. The fact and the fiction of the feeling are the same.

Which is nice to know.

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About the Author ()

Uther was one of the two arts editors in 2009. He was the horoscopier and theatre writer in 2010. Alongside Elle Hunt, Uther was coeditor in 2011.

Comments (5)

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  1. Electrum Stardust says:

    … except that seine Name ist “Erich”…

  2. Electrum Stardust says:

    … and “Name” is actually masculine. Of course.

  3. Electrum Stardust says:

    “And so I correct my dedication:

    [SEIN Name:] Fromm, ERICH– With Love.

  4. Electrum Stardust says:

    “And so I correct my dedication” :

    [SEIN Name: ] Fromm, ERICH– With Love.

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