I love falling in love and have fallen in love many times during my 37 years. I have been accused of being addicted to love, yet - I can find no higher purpose to serve. How many times does the average person fall in love during a lifetime?
Dear During a Lifetime,
Infatuation is often identified as love. Only time can tell if infatuation is real love or a passing fancy. Love has several stages, attraction, affection, romance, intimacy, and commitment. Some experts shorten the list to lust, attraction, and attachment. Researchers have determined that it takes between 90 seconds and 4 minutes to fancy someone, mostly determined by body language and the speed and tone of their voice. However it usually takes 7 or 8 months to fall in love and know that you are in love.
Attraction is accompanied by the surge of adrenaline, dopamine and serotonin, neurotransmitters that act like drugs on the brain. This may account for the addiction quality of falling in love. These neurotransmitters affect the reward and pleasure centers of the brain much like cocaine does. These reactions can be considered a legitimate guide because these neurotransmitters light up portions of the brain and cannot be faked. Determining whether to pursue one’s passions or merely fantasize about them depends on the initial lust and attraction one feels for the beloved.
If the attraction gets beyond the infatuation stage, the neurotransmitters eventually become replaced with oxytocin and vasspressin, two hormones associated with intimacy and commitment. Then the love goes into the true or real love classification. The average person actually falls in love 3-6 times during a lifetime. There are many reasons why it may or not work out, including support from family, friends and culture, other commitments, the timing wasn’t right, etc. Crushes or infatuation may feel like love at first but eventually reveal them selves to be one sided, incompatible or unrealistic for some of the same reasons.
Some people may not believe in falling in love, or God or life after death, lumping it into the fairy tale category. These people may have never witnessed a happy or successful love or they may have been hurt by love or they may have low self-esteem and self worth. These people are the most surprised when they do fall in love.
Lesbians have different criteria for picking a mate than heterosexual women do. The subconscious need for breeding selection is not a factor for most LGBTQ people. Reasons for falling in love may vary from feeling good to having a partner that nurtures and brings out the best, highest potential one has to offer. We are more attached to people who bring out our higher selves. These people are often referred to as soul mates or true loves.
When we look back over the course of our love lives, we can easily rank and classify them as gold, silver, bronze in their over all value and prize worthiness. In retrospect or hindsight it is easy to separate the crushes from the love affairs and the true loves from the false loves. Personally I strive to love not only like Aphrodite loves, but to love my beloved like she is Aphrodite incarnate. Love is the candy of the heart that entices the sweetness of the soul. There are two great quests in life, true love and enlightenment and when they are combined they bring out the best in everyone involved.
Love is Truth,