Love School Lesson #7
Welcome to Love School, this is lesson #7 on our series about love. Just to refresh your memory, I explained that love has four distinct phases based on the neurological activity. Those phases are attraction, dating or courtship, falling in love and real love. Today we are going to look at falling in love.
Last week, when I talked to you about the dating phase I mentioned that your anxiety goes up when you’re dating because of the risks.
Today, I’ll show you what I mean when I say risks. One of your biggest dangers in love is actually falling in love. Now before, you email me telling me I’m crazy, that’s the main goal of finding love allow me to explain.
The reason we love falling in love is because our perceived vulnerability drops dramatically. We feel happy, light and have a strange certainty that we have just found “the one.” And although we love this feeling, this is not really love…yet.
That sensation we feel when we fall in love is a temporary state designed to help you be more vulnerable to another person. I sometimes refer to it as temporary insanity, because of what happens inside your brain.
One of the more ironic parts about it is most people will tell you that they feel deliriously happy. Which turns out to be impossible, because serotonin your hormone of happiness actually plummets. I can reach the level of someone with OCD (Obsessive Compulsive Disorder). In other words, you’re not happy your obsessed.
That’s also what falling in love is so risky. Just image you fall in love, but the other person doesn’t. Now you are stuck in this obsessive state; you can’t sleep, you can’t eat, and you can’t focus. The only thing you can do is drive past his or her house every half hour, hoping they change their mind and want to see you.
But that’s not the only thing that happens. Important parts of your brain actually shut down. This is what a human brain looks like. The red section is your frontal cortex. This is the thinking part of your brain. This is the pentacle of human evolution. This is what has allowed us to plan, build, and become the most powerful species on the planet.
But, when you fall in love…it’s gone! Your ventromedial prefrontal cortex, the part – of your brain that’s responsible for judgment is deactivated. That’s one of the reasons you feel so good. You stop judging yourself. All those negative voices like your third grade teacher that said you had no artist talent is gone. Or that voice that said you would never amount to anything – kaput. You feel good about yourself and about the other person.
Because you can’t judge them either. So all those weird traits he has, are now cute. Which is great. Unless some of those traits are bad. For example, he suggests you slip a few hacksaw blades in some hamburger and bring them into the prison for him. Without you ventromedial prefrontal cortex, that sounds like a reasonable request.
And, because your amygdala, the part of the brain that should be alert you that something is wrong is also shut down, you merrily waltz in prison with your special home depot gift for him. Sorry Joyce Mitchell.
Now, I’m making a few jokes here. But, the truth is Mother Nature manipulates your brain when you fall in love.
In fact, I love this quote from the British neurologist Dr. Semir Zeki, “It is not surprising that we often surprised by the choice of partner that someone makes, asking futilely whether they have taken leave of their senses. In fact, they have.”
That’s why love is so risky. When you fall in love you loss objectivity. No matter what the other person does, you think they are just wonderful. He’s unemployed and still living in his parent’s basement at 42, that’s okay. She likes to drink and has wrecked 4 cars in the last six months, but you think it’s cute. It’s also why you get so nervous while you are dating. Dating is the time when you are hyper vigilant. You need to make sure you don’t miss a thing, because once you fall in love, you can’t see a thing. Now you know why they say love is blind. Love is not blind but this stage where you fall in love sure is.
So, now you might be wondering why would Mother Nature do all this? Why would she shut down important parts of your brain and make you obsessed? Why would she make it so you couldn’t see the other person for who they truly are? That’s a great question. I talk about next week, as we look at the last phase – real love.
So please come back, and please share this video. Sharing and subscribing is the way you can tell me you like these videos and think the information is valuable. I’ll see you next week in Love School.