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Attraction vs. Commitment

Posted Jun 12 2009 6:09pm

Attraction vs. Commitment

I' ve been reading that it’s attraction that triggers feel good neurotransmitters like PEA in our brain. It may be that love and attraction are very different mechanisms. The immediate trigger of attraction is probably nature’s way of insuring procreation and the continuation of our species. Brain chemicals such as PEA don' t last long enough in humans for us to remain monogamous for very long. There are animals in northern Canada that retain their PEA long enough to make them monogamous for a lifetime. It’s the limbic system or the emotional center of our brain that generates the attraction spark.and chemistry. By the way, women have a larger limbic system than men, which seems to account for their more powerful and lasting emotions.

What we call love, on the other hand, may not be so directly connected to our emotions in the same way as attraction. Love is not necessarily having the same good feelings as brought on by the activity of neurotransmitters. The cerebral cortex, or the higher level thinking part of our brain, is where we make a conscious commitment to stay with the same person and care for them over the long haul. For us to be monogamous takes more than brain chemistry of the wild animals it takes a conscious thinking decision to be caring. It seems that our commitment mechanism isn’t working very well as we seen in our current high divorce rate. What screws up our commitment seems to be that we can’t deal very well with the relationship aspect of our journey. We drive each other crazy and are a great disappointment to each other in our relationships. We just can’t seem to fulfill each other’s expectations and are caught off guard and are almost totally unprepared for a successful relationship. To make matters even more difficult we bring all our unresolved baggage along for the nasty bumpy ride.

If we could learn more about the relationship aspect before we make our commitments we would likely be better prepared to have our commitment work. We get our ideas about relationships from the wrong sources. Fiction as seen in movies and romance novels is probably not the best source. These sources create a fantasy of our expectations and are far from reality. Instead of getting caught up in the attraction feel good aspect of a relationship alone it may be beneficial to have long courtship so we could really get to know our partner. When we start to see things that make us feel uncomfortable about our partners we shouldn’t make the mistake of thinking we can change them and make them over after we commit. They won’t change.

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