Last week, a close friend of mine has protected a huge sociology dissertation dedicated to the concept of love and its types. Being a rather pragmatic person, he decided to focus more on the chemical essence of this most contradictive phenomenon. Perhaps, all we feel for our parents, girl/boyfriends, best friends, and pets is nothing more than interdependence and a set of chemical reactions. It's all in your head.
One said that any human being is selfish, but the history knows thousands of examples when one sacrificed own life to save a beloved creature. So, are you that kind of person who still believes that love is just another wonder? Or is a scientific approach winning?
The article “Love: The Right Chemistry” by Anastasia Toufexis critically observes the concept of love from the scientific point of view. This editor was inspired by the famous speech of Greta Garbo from “Ninotchka”.
The article shows the evolution of perception of love through centuries. Romantic love is opposed to scientific chemistry once more. An author provides valuable arguments that a nature of romantic love is not eternal, neither it is exclusive.
According to historical origins, the first reference to the romantic nature of love appeared about four million years ago. The article states the first romantic chemistry occurred when a man and a woman first looked deeply into each other’s eyes. This process starts from our brain and transfers to the bloodstream. Later, the concept of love was extended because of the sexual organs formation and development as the part of the evolutionary process.
Thanks to the flowing sparks, sex evolved from the primitive reproductive act to the romantic encounter. Thus, personal attraction formed. From this point, humanity stopped evaluating sex only as a reproductive act.
It was a romance that pulled females and males into a long-term partnership which goal was to build a complete social unit called family. Except for running joint household and earning per living, the two representatives of opposite genders are interested in giving new life to further child’s education. Couples that raise one child just to divorce are considered primitive by the majority. It is the sign that today people evaluate love as something more than physical desire and reproduction.
However, more than 60% of pairs break up in three-four years, as it was mentioned in Helen Fisher’s research. A birth of the second baby the only way to save a marriage. This article makes a reader believe marriage is not necessarily an equivalent of eternal love.
The sad statistics brought to the light in this article proved that long-lasting love is a myth. Less than 5% of all mammals form long relations. The desire to change partner is basically caused by the fact that new combinations of genes allow to raise future baby’s uniqueness. So, the infidelity can be explained by the natural wish to stand out (by producing a rare DNA).
Next, the feeling of being swept away is rationally justified from the scientific view. In fact, pairs are influenced by chemicals. Any physical or emotional contact activates them. Some may argue that they experience stress more than joy after falling in love. Scientists can answer this issue too: the chemical pathways of man and woman are identical. The only reason for us to feel desperate after the break-up or lover’s death is that we lose a big portion of natural narcotics.
Chemists explain the reactions caused by the feeling of love with the help of various phenylethylamines (PEAs). They don’t have a long-lasting impact on the human nature, that’s why only short-living love is possible. “Fizzling chemicals spell the end of delirious passion” (Ellens 24). “Attraction junkies” is a term that describes the nature of people in love the best.
The article briefly discusses oxytocin. Born in our brain, this chemical is responsible for muscle contractions. It enhances orgasms, one of the core bricks of love.
To sum up, the article points that the credible scientific facts can easily explain every feeling we value as the manifestation of pure love. The article may seem rather cynical to people without Ph.D. in science. “To most people love will always be more than the sum of its natural parts” (Toufexis 131).
Works Cited: Ellens, J. Harold. The Spirituality of Sex. Santa Barbara: Greenwood Publishing Group, 2009.
Print: Toufexis, Anastasia. "Love: The Right Chemistry." The Right Chemistry. Time Mag., 24 June