Love School Lesson #6
Welcome to Love School. This is lesson #6 in our series about love.
Last week I discussed attraction, the first phase of love. I also introduced you to the concept of perceived vulnerability. Or, the level of anxiety or stress you feel during the process of meeting, dating and falling in love.
This week I want to talk about the second phase. This is sometimes called dating, courtship or the chase stage. If you recall the graph I showed you last week, your perceived vulnerability escalates during this time. This can cause some people to get really nervous when they are dating.
In fact, one of my clients told me that she hates dating. But she wanted to find love. So she would start to date a man and the moment she discovered one thing about him she didn’t like she would break it off. Her feeling would get some uncomfortable, especially if she liked the guy that she would look for any little thing se could call a deal breaker. One guy smoked, another guy had funny teeth, and another guy didn’t seem to like her cat.
She wanted love, but going through the courtship process was so uncomfortable that breaking it off, although painful, was also a relief.
I like to call a date as Designating A Time to Evaluate. That’s one of the reasons it can be so nerve-racking. You are trying to make one of the biggest decisions of your life – who to fall in love with. Because once you fall in love you become so vulnerable to the other person, Mother Nature has created natural barriers to prevent you from falling in love with the wrong person – namely the dating phase.
So what’s happening during this dating or chase phase?
Each person is building up his or her neurotransmitters until you reach a biological tipping point, which we call falling in love.
One of the biggest neurotransmitters in dating is dopamine. Dopamine is the neurotransmitter of pleasure and reward. If we like something or someone, dopamine is released. You have a fun date, a little dopamine is released. He calls you later, a little more dopamine. You plan a second date, even more dopamine.
It causes your brain to pay attention. This is felt as nervousness and anxiety. You are excited, motivated and paying attention.
But dopamine is only one of the molecules involved. It’s the one that is common in both men and women, but from here it changes.
That’s one of the reasons dating or courtship can be so tricky. Men and women fall in love differently. Not only that, men can fall victim to something called the Coolidge Effect. This is where his dopamine level go up and down rapidly without him reaching the level of falling in love.
I created a video on this. I’ll provide you with a link at the end if you would like to learn more.
I’ve simplified the process some to make it easier to understand. But basically, for a woman to fall in love, she needs to build both dopamine and oxytocin.
Oxytocin is sometimes called the cuddle or love hormone. It increases with touching and socializing, but mostly it increases as she starts to trust him.
One of the hormones that rise for him to fall in love is testosterone, which coincidentally rises when he is trusted.
That’s why I say biologically dating is really about risk assessment. You are trying to establish who is trustworthy and who is not.
But now you are wondering “what’s the risk?” The risk is the next phase. Probably the biggest biological risk you will face in your lifetime is falling in love.
Now many of you might think I’m crazy. When I do workshops I ask everyone who has fallen in love. Everyone raises his or her hand. Next, I ask how did it feel? They will say things like, “it felt great”, or “I was happy, or it was euphoric.” The point is everyone seemed to love falling in love. In fact, no one thought it was a risk. I was a goal.
Its what most people say they want when they are looking for love.
So where does the risk come from? Well as I explain in more detail next week, but falling in love is a form of temporary insanity. It’s an amazing, delightful euphoric form of temporary insanity. But neither the less it is still a form of temporary insanity. It’s a period of extreme vulnerability, where important parts of our brain actually shut down. One of the parts is the amygdala, which is part of our alarm system. That’s why our anxiety level has such a dramatic drop when we fall in love. Its also one of the reasons we feel so great.
This makes it easier to get closer to our beloved. So why would that be risky?
Let me tell you a story about one of my coaching clients Jessica. She came to be frustrated and upset. She had been dating this guy for months, but the relationship was caught in a terrible pattern.
As she talked about it she was visibly embarrassed. Jessica is a beautiful, highly educated and successful woman. But she felt hopelessly stuck with this guy. She told me that they didn’t even date anymore. She said, he would text at like 10 o’clock at night and she knew she shouldn’t response, but she couldn’t help it. The next thing she knew he was coming over. He would spend the night and leave early the next morning. The embarrassing part is that she knew he was dating other women. She wanted a real relationship but didn’t know how to move it to the next level nor could she could bring herself to break it off.
That’s the risk. One falls in love and the other doesn’t. Jessica had fallen in love, but the guy hadn’t. This left her biochemically bonded to him and it can last for years.
That can be a huge risk. But there are ways to make sure he falls in love first. I think this is so important that I’m creating a course that will be available this fall that explains the process. Not only will I show you how to get a man to fall in love with you. I’ll show you how to get him to fall in love first.
If you are interested in learning more make sure you sign up on my website at www.dawnmaslar.com. I’ll have more information coming out about that soon.
Next week, I’ll I explain what happens to you brain when you fall in love. I promise you, you’ll never look at love the same way again. This will be fun, exciting and quite enlightening. So make sure you subscribe so you don’t miss a thing. I’ll see you next week in Love School.
Link to Coolidge Effect Video: https://youtu.be/8L3whnmhxgs