Saturday, February 11, 2006

Question 20

What causes romantic "chemistry"?

Is it simply our pheromones triggering a chemical reaction in our brain?

Is it caused by two souls connecting?

Or is it something else entirely?


At 8:05 PM , Blogger Kafaleni said...

If I knew the answer to this one, I wouldn't tell you, and I'd get rich selling the answer via infomercial, co-hosted by a really annoyingly perky quasi-celebrity - (This is Jessica Chlamydia! She played a salesgirl who sold something to Carly on GH, but then the scene got cut and now she wants to tell you what the secret to true love is!)

However, I don't know, so I'll postulate a little here...
Love is not initially love... it is about what attracts you and vice versa. I did hear some research once, which said that the most common response from commited long-term couples who were asked "How did you know that he/she was the one?" was that they felt more at peace with themselves and with this other person than they had at any previous point in their lives.

Desperate and Dateless on V (not VD) Day

At 8:08 PM , Blogger Kafaleni said...

Addendum to my last post..

I like the "two souls" idea, but I don't think that it happens as often in real life as it does in the romance paperbacks. Whenever and however you connect, it's easy enough to get together, but then you've got to stay together, which requires work on your behalf.

Happy Valentine's Day, my friends!

At 8:44 PM , Anonymous Jeff Meyerson said...

Maybe, Kaf. That's part of why I found Sleepless in Seattle so non-involving. They make this whole big deal about "soulmates" and "the perfect person out there" for you, and then when she dies (sorry if I ruined it for anyone) he finds another "perfect person".

Do I believe there is only ONE perfect person for each of us? No.

As to what causes romantic chemistry, well I must admit that in my case it was alcohol that gave it a push.

After that, I just don't have an answer. Whatever it is, I sure can't define it.

Helpful, aren't I?

At 8:53 PM , Blogger punky said...

As I mentioned before, I believe in past lives and karma ... in the same vein ... I recently read somewhere that one should beware of connections that feel really intense from the start ... the theory being that sometimes that strong connection is due to past life karma that you need to work out in this life ... it doesn't necessarily mean this person is the man/woman with whom you are meant to spend the rest of your life. My last "relationship" was a prefect example of that ... the connection was strong and I assumed that was an indication of "meant to be" when really it was an indication of a lesson I needed to learn and this situation was the ony way I was finally going to learn it ... if that strong connection hadn't been as strong as it was, I may not have stuck around long enough to deal with the things I needed to learn and resolve that karma and heal.

As for chemistry ... I don't know what causes it. Perhaps things from our childhood deep rooted in our brain cause a feeling of familiarity when we meet ... but that doesn't account for why the other person feels the same connection. So I'm going to have to go with the meeting of the souls ... but with what I said earlier ... sometimes what feels like a soul mate is actually karma being resolved.

Or maybe it's not for me to understand at all. :)

At 9:36 PM , Blogger Tamara said...

You (yes, you--and you) need, need, need, need, NEEEEEDDD NEEEED NEEEEDD NEEEEED to read Chapter One ("The Mystery of Attraction") of the book Getting the Love You Want by Harville Hendrix. I have it in my hand, and I am so tempted to type it all out, but it's eleven pages long.

Actually, read the first couple of chapters. It is a MUST-READ!

At 9:37 PM , Blogger Tamara said...


*continues screaming as the men in white coats drag her away*

At 9:55 PM , Blogger slyeyes said...

God made 10,000 perfect matches for each of us. He just hid them all really really well.

I have no clue about chemistry.

At 11:01 PM , Blogger Kafaleni said...

okay sly.. did He hide them in the same country, or do I have to play "Where in the world...." to find them?

The first 4 letters of my confirmation word are kiev... now I'm hungry and I only just finished lunch.

At 9:15 AM , Blogger Leetie said...

Chemicals cause the feelings you feel, but I have no clue what makes them flow, other than a biological drive to procreate. Why would anyone fall in love with somebody who is bad for them or abuses them? It must be something more superficial.

At 9:37 AM , Blogger Tamara said...

It is my understanding that... [compressing everything into one neat sentence]...

We are subconsciously attracted to people who have the same negative traits as the primary caregivers from our childhood.

We end up recreating our childhoods, supposedly to strive toward closure.

I know this was true for me and STBX.

We also are attracted to people who are at our same level of emotional intelligence.

I know this is true, too, because I was plum stoopid when I married STBX. And now the attraction is gone, because I am growing, and he is not.

At 9:58 AM , Blogger punky said...

I agree with that Tamara ... my question still remains ... what causes him/her to be attracted to us in return? Or is that only the case in the unhealthy relationships? And after we have worked out most of our issues from childhood, are we then free to become attracted to men/women based on things that matter, such as kindness, sense of humor, wisdom, intelligence, compassion, character, etc? And what of the folks who meet their "soul mate" at 18 and stay married for 60 years ... is it simply that they were able to continue to grow together ... or did they not have as much karma to work through? Or perhaps the karma they had wasn't specific to romantic love.

Here is something else I know ... people stay with people or continue to pine and long for people who hurt them, don't love them or can't love them because of a deficiency in self-love. When we truly love ourselves we recognize another's inability to love and accept it for what it is and move on. Walk away. And understand deep in our heart and soul that it is their loss and not ours. And that they actually gave us a gift by not loving us. The gift of being available when we do find the person who will.

At 10:21 AM , Blogger Tamara said...

Well, they are attracted to us because we harbor the same negative character traits as their primary caregivers from childhood.

And unhealthy relationships are what happen when we ourselves are not as healthy as we could be.

The attraction to the person with the negative traits happens on the unconscious level. As we learn and grow and receive the closure we seek, we become conscious of what works and doesn't work for us. It is possible to avoid the Negative-Traited People through Consciousness.

Yes, the people who keep the relationship going are the people who work for it and do grow together. Jeff could confirm or deny this for us, I think.

Here is something else I know ... people stay with people or continue to pine and long for people who hurt them, don't love them or can't love them because of a deficiency in self-love. - Learned from childhood. If anyone ever actually got every single thing they needed in childhood, as adults, they would be independent, would love themselves unconditionally, would be in relationships to give rather than receive, and would subconsciously be attracted to people who give just as much and as well as their perfect parents did.

At 10:42 AM , Blogger punky said...

I absolutely agree that self-love is developed early on in childhood. For those who were deprived of a healthy childhood, self-love is harder to come by ... but still attainable ... it just takes a lot of work.

I also am a big believer in laws of attraction. We attract to us that which we are.

But chemistry still eludes me. Some people just seem to smell right, taste right and fit right ... ya know?

At 11:24 AM , Blogger Tamara said...

Some people just seem to smell right, taste right and fit right ... ya know?

*SNORKing with a dirty mind!*

When we are in love, we overlook the imperfections. So everything about our partner is perfect.

'Till the happy-making chemicals stop producing, and we are left facing reality, unintoxicated.

Stoopid reality.

At 11:31 AM , Blogger punky said...

That is so sad.

At 11:34 AM , Blogger Tamara said...

Welcome to my little world...

--Your friendly neighborhood bucket o' sunshine

At 12:00 PM , Blogger Higgy said...

Punky - I hear you on the smell right, taste right, feel right - and that chemistry is there during the "falling in love" phase of a relationship. Then, as Tamara says, that veil falls away and you're left realizing that the preson has warts, thoughts and issues of their own.

Last year, I got Lisa a "Love" calendar - one of the day-to-day versions. We've put several of them on the refrigerator - two especially that I thought truly poignant.

"Making a relationship work requires falling in love with the same person over and over again."

"People change and forget to tell each other."

At 12:36 PM , Anonymous kingw said...

I knew on our first date that this was the woman I wanted to spend my life with. She still is 14 years later. Except we both are different people than we were.

There have been times when I was irritated with her, but I got past it. After all I benefit in the end. I made a good choice to start with, if I compromise I win, if she compromises I win. I can't say I still have that head over heels thing going, but there are still times I look at her and know I am the luckiest guy in the world.

Soulmates, that sounds like that nature thing. Karma maybe.., but I must have been real nice to deserve this.

At 4:02 PM , Anonymous boo augustus said...

All I know is that, after a diligent daily routine, I still have a big ole zit on the side of my nose for Valentine's Day. There's your romantic chemistry right there for ya.

At 5:15 PM , Anonymous Jeff Meyerson said...

Tamara (& Punky), I wish I had the answer for you. Like Higgy said, that veil falls away and you're left realizing that the preson has warts, thoughts and issues of their own.

In our case we went out for nearly 4 years before we got married. Since we knew each other so well and had been through so much, the "honeymoon" period (first year after marriage) was probably the worst one we ever had. We fought a lot, often in front of friends, which was very not cool.

But we did get past it. I think you need to have certain (but not EVERY) interests in common, things you can share. You also need to have private time and separate interests and friends. Then you can share what you've heard or learned elsewhere (like on the blogs).

There should be certain things you're willing to go along with because the other person loves it (shopping on one hand, certain sports on the other), while others (Barry Manilow concerts, a Three Stooges festival) remain beyond the pale.

As for what kingw said, yes we still fight, although far less often and far less violently (verbally, let me add) than in younger days. Sometimes you do need a "time out".

The most important thing is, she is by far the best friend I've ever had.

At 5:20 PM , Blogger Leetie said...

*wiping tears*

At 5:20 PM , Blogger Leetie said...

Oh, and

*passes Boo some Clearasil and a lancet*


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