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Sunday, October 2, 2011

The Science of Love


I'm fascinated by what makes people tick. If I hadn't become a writer I think I might have become a therapist. Though I think I'd specialize in happy problems - nothing too serious, which is why it's probably good I'm a writer!

The science of relationships really intrigues me, and it's a code I'd love to crack! Bu thank goodness there are many scientists much better suited than I to do this, so I just read. A lot.

One of my favorite books on the topic is "The Alchemy of Love and Lust," which explains in great detail what happens in our brains and bodies when we love someone. The impact of oxytocin, serotonin and a host of other chemicals that flood our brains when we're in love is real and tangible, unlike lots of other theories when it comes to love.

In a somewhat different vein is Dr. Helen Fisher's, "Why Him? Why Her?" which explains the above illustration of personality types. At the link is another link where you too can take the personality test.

I was not surprised in taking the test to discover I am a "Negotiator." According to Fisher Negotiators are: "Imaginative, idealistic, agreeable and introspective" (you think?!). Negotiators apparently respond to Directors who are: "Analytical, decisive, focused, independent and strategic-minded." When I read that I thought back to the most significant relationships in my life and thought, yeah, she's right.

So why am I interested in all this? Part of it is certainly the science, but I always want to know more about myself, and why I make the choices I do. I think we're all far less interesting than we think we are. I believe we're all pretty simple - we all want to be loved and love. We want to feel supported, cared for and that we're special.

But.. within that it does get a little messy. The path is not a straight one, and the older I get I see that life is far from black and white. As someone who is divorced I certainly don't claim to have all the (or maybe any) answers. I'm just like everyone else - trying to do my best.

What I do know is it's never easy, even if you find that person who feels like your missing puzzle piece. I also know, the older I get the less I feel it needs to be all my way and the more I see it's all about compromise and letting go of your ego.

Which is really easy to say as I sit here writing by myself...

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