Romantic love has never been so important in the minds of human beings. Today there is no need to worry about hunting every day, so it is possible to spend a lot of time and energy finding “the love of your life”. So we will now go over 5 popular theories about love.
1/ Love lasts 3 years
We owe the popularity of this theory to the author with the radioactive chin, Frederic Beigbeder. He based it on the results of some researchers who showed that “love passion” can not last much longer than three years in most people.
Indeed, increased activity of certain hormones (such as oxytocin) affects a loving brain: they maintain it in a state conducive to illusions, which makes it possible not to see the defects of the other and to quickly create a feeling of intimacy with the lucky one… during enough time to conceive and raise a child.
“Passion-love”, the one in which the faults of the other are not seen, is therefore a program of nature, the object of which is to promote the reproduction and preservation of the species.
Indeed, once the baby is conceived, he must be protected. And in order to survive in the wilderness, the child needed both parents, because a parent alone could not both watch and host him, hunt and defend him against predators. And this genetic programming is still present in us, despite the progress of science and civilization, which are concepts too recent, and too precarious, with regard to evolution.
Of course, this does not mean that men and women are obliged to separate after three years: the affection, the desire or the need to be together may last longer…
2/ Love makes blind
This is a saying that we hear very often, especially when we introduce to our parents someone they do not find good enough for us.
The truth is that when you fall in love, the brain becomes addicted to an explosive cocktail of hormones. It then get upset: its capacity for judgment, discernment and critical thinking are no longer optimal.
However, I noticed by coaching guys that it is mainly the one-itis that makes blind… sometimes even stupid. That is, when a guy is not often successful with women, and suddenly a “correct” chick is interested in him, he can convince himself that she is perfect and that he is deeply in love… when in fact, it is simply an unhealthy obsession.
So it is not, in my opinion, only love that makes blind.
3/ The soul mate
The soul mate is a concept that evokes a love compatibility that would be perfect between two individuals. The expression, passed in the common language, has variable definitions which lead to the idea that these two individuals have the destiny of constituting a couple.
A theory of sister souls can be found in Plato’s Banquet: human beings, originally, would have been made up of four arms, four legs and a single head with two faces. Zeus, who feared their power, would have cut them in two, condemning them to spend the rest of their lives searching for the missing half.
But statistically, what would be the chance to meet your alter ego among the 7 billion human beings?
Moreover, researchers have even shown that the belief in the soul mate is detrimental to a lasting relationship: individuals who consider themselves being sister souls tend to be less satisfied when they think about conflicts within their couple. As a result, they tend to flee as soon as discords appear, convinced that they are not made for each other. Conversely, those who are willing to communicate and solve problems are more likely to live in happy relationships.
4/ Love is a social construction
We can find about love in many cultures and eras. However, it is not found everywhere (only in 90% of the cultures studied by researchers) nor all the time. Moreover, we do not love the same way in China and in Nicaragua: there is therefore no universal definition of love. In most Muslim and African countries, polygamy exists when it is very badly perceived in the West.
To reinforce the idea that love is a social construction, we must know that La Bruyère wrote “Most people would never fall in love if they had never heard of love.” Moreover, in Love and the West, Denis de Rougemont analyzes the myth and touches on the very essence of passion and romance… which allows us to understand how we got there today.
The notion of romantic love that most people without a critical mind have, and whose brain is nurtured in Hollywood comedies, is probably biased. In my opinion this does not help making them happy since life is not a movie… and the fact that not all people are Ryan Gosling nor Emma Stone can make it unpleasant. But it remains a beautiful urban legend.
5/ Love is in the meadow
For some people, no doubt, as the TV shows us sometimes.
But since most people live in cities, then love is on the street, in bars, on the Internet, at work, and so on.