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Monday, 20 April 2015

Addicted to Love

My April 17 blog was about addictions. My April 1 blog was about Love as a 7th belief system. My December 29, 2014 blog was about me finding love in Kenya. Today's blog is a synthesis: the addiction to love and my personal experience.

When we talk about love, we usually talk about 5 places: brain, heart, mind, soul and stomach. So far, the soul is a mere concept that thus cannot be researched. The heart and stomach are organs and basically a metafoor for love. The importance of the brain and the mind in dealing with love, has been researched by many scientists.

One of these scientists who study the brain is Karen Fisher. She made an interesting TED video, the brain in love, which I recommend watching. In another interesting and also recommended TED video, how I hacked online dating, Amy Webb uses a mathematical approach (i.e., the mind) by re-engineering the algorithms used by online dating services. 

In particular, I like the following Karen Fisher statement: "I'm putting the data together now, and at some point -- there will always be magic to love, but I think I will come closer to understanding why it is you can walk into a room and everybody is from your background, your same general level of intelligence, your same general level of good looks, and you don't feel pulled towards all of them. I think there's biology to that. I think we're going to end up, in the next few years, to understand all kinds of brain mechanisms that pull us to one person rather than another."

Carl Gustav Jung (1875-1961) was a famous Swiss psychiatrist and psychotherapist who founded analytical psychology. His work has been influential not only in psychiatry but also in philosophy, anthropology, archaeology, literature, and religious studies. Carl Gustav Jung once said: "The meeting of two personalities is like the contact of two chemical substances: if there is any reaction, both are transformed.” In case of love, we typically refer to this as "love at first sight".

My April 17 blog was about addictions. I feel that the consequences of love can only be understood by viewing it as another type of addiction in the brain. Love clouds all rational counter arguments as the brain once again cocoons the mind from external events that contradict the brain. This addiction to love also explains why forgiving your partner's faults and flaws is so easy for the person in love.

My December 29, 2014 blog was about me finding love for the 1st time ever. My mind remembers the 18 month heartache and realises the huge socio-economic differences. However, my brain still contains a hidden addiction. When I feel strong, which is most of the times nowadays, the addiction stays hidden. Yet, sometimes my brain feeds the "what, if" question back to my mind.

I feel that once you discover an addiction, it will never fully disappear. Any addiction probably lasts permanently in your brain. In case of love, this should not be a problem. As Alfred Lord Tennyson (1809-1892) once said: 'Tis better to have loved and lost than never to have loved at all.

My addiction to love does raise the bar for any future relationship. And it should. Once you have known the feeling of love, why settle for anything less?