Desi Bridget Jones Diary

Love, Life, Relationships and a touch of the Divine!

Thursday, July 18, 2013

The chemistry of Love

I stumbled onto anthropologist Dr. Helen Fishers’ TED talk today on “Why we love, why we cheat” and I just loved her, not to mention her job. I’d rather be paid to ask people ‘Why do you want to go out with A and not B?’ instead of my current job of asking ‘Do we give 100K$ to project C or project D?”  Hmm… what a fun job – you get to write about love and also give ‘gyaan’ (BS in global terms). That’s just right up my alley!

Helen Fisher also talks about the ‘Biology of the mind’ and is the best-selling author of “Why we love”.  Apparently it is all biological; kind of takes the romance out of love to reduce it to mere dopamine and serotonin and oxytocin. All these chemicals sound so much like chemistry, which is also another term for the sparks that fly when you meet someone special. Romantic passion, according to Helen Fisher, is hardwired into our DNA – it’s not an emotion but a drive as powerful as hunger.

Apparently there are three types of love: Lust, romantic attraction and attachment. All these states are associated with various neurochemicals in the brain. Romantic attraction is associated with high dopamine and low serotonin creating obsession, yearning and a longing for love; nature’s way of ensuring you actually pine for the pimply, dork down the road. Lust is associated with testosterone; nature’s way of ensuring you actually mate and reproduce with the pimply dork. Attachment is associated with oxytocin creating the calmness and emotional connection with a long term partner; nature’s way of ensuring you stay long enough with the dork to marry and raise his kids! Yup – we’ve all been suckered by nature!

Well, Desi Brigit Jones’ dopamine levels seem to be abnormally high. I seem to be in a perpetual state of romantic yearning; the names just keep changing from Mr. E to P to V.  With my track record, I shall probably fall in love with the whole alphabet by the end of the year! Letters stumbling into words, sentences meandering into paragraphs, paragraphs morphing into chapters… I think that’s a pretty good start for a wannabe writer J


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