Way Into You: New Take on Love

Most everyone has experienced near instant attraction to someone else, whether of a social or sexual nature, but few are able to pin down exactly why they felt that attraction. Based on two experiments they conducted with human volunteers, the researchers suggest it may have to do with matching neural circuitry*.

So then, what is “chemistry?” Not just looks? Not just smell? Now it’s “matching neural circuitry.” How romantic. And yet, in a way it kind of is, if we consider how romantic it can be to feel deeply connected to another person in a magical, inexplicable way. Have you ever wished your needs could be understood without having to say a word, like a baby who gets fed just because the baby wakes up. Works in friendship too. Grey’s Anatomy’s Meredith and Christina referred to each other as their “Person,” the one who knows what you feel and what you need sometimes before you may know these things yourself. Although the authors define it as a similarity of neural circuitry, i.e., activity in the brain’s reward (feel good) center when one person’s mental representation (understanding) of the other person’s affective (emotional) state actually matches that person’s emotional state — I think I just want to call it Love.

Maybe you’ve heard of The Five Love Languages: Gifts, time and attention, words of affirmation, acts of service, physical touch. All are gifts of one sort or another. And some matter more than others to one or another of us. But who among us would not love for there to be someone who really gets you, someone who is really into you, way into you in the deepest of deep, nonverbal, life of its own, matching brain waves kind of way. It’s that “I just love being with you…I feel so close to you” thing that can happen without anyone exactly putting it there nor even knowing why it is – sometimes without even knowing that it is – there!

It’s the thing in the relationship, I would submit, the most important thing in a relationship, that we don’t even have to ‘work on’ because it’s just there. Now, of course, not everyone has been lucky enough to find his/her “Person” yet. But how many have and have either not known it, or not valued it enough to have and to hold it, so it could nourish and delight them in return. One woman I know** is just beginning to grasp the miracle of this exquisite connection amid a multitude of complaints about her guy that begin to lose their punch each time she can bring her mind back to the reality of the magical love they share. The Buddhists say that, notwithstanding the waves on the surface of the ocean, there is great stillness beneath. Sometimes we just get lucky in “matching neural circuitry,” a kind of love in which this stillness can reside if only we can try to let it. Practice, practice, practice…and see what happens.

To work on this or something else, would love to hear from you. Write or call:

Email:  Madelaine Weiss

Phone:  202.617.0821

*”Researchers find a brain link between affective understanding and interpersonal attraction” April 5, 2016 http://medicalxpress.com/news/2016-04-brain-link-affective-interpersonal.html

**Examples and illustrations are fictional composites inspired by but not depicting nor referring to any actual specific person in my practice or life experience.

Copyright © 2017. Madelaine Claire Weiss. All rights reserved.

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