Find A Husband In 90 Days – Round 2! The Chemical Of Attraction And How To Use It To Find Your Soulmate!By Delaina Dixon | August 24, 2018 | Relationships
Hello Divas! I’m continuing┬áon my search to find a husband in 90 days. I have to say, in just one week on DateBritishGuys.com, I got a marriage proposal (we’re done!) and have conversed via texts with some lovely blokes. But we know having feelings for someone isn’t like turning on a light switch – or is it?
I wanted to know a little more about the laws of attraction, from a scientific standpoint. So I reached out to the professionals: psychiatrist Daniel Z. Lieberman, MD,┬áa professor at George Washington University; and physicist, Michael Long, a writer and playwright who lectures at Georgetown University. Their book, The Molecule of More: How a single chemical in your brain drives loves, sex, and creativity ΓÇô and well determine the fate of the human race┬átalks about dopamine, the “feel good” chemical. They explain to us how it plays a part in our search for love – read below!
What is Dopamine?
DANIEL Z. LIEBERMAN: Dopamine is a chemical in your brain that gives you an urge to check out any new and potentially useful thing you come across: a new restaurant, a clickbait headline, the ping of your cellphone, or the new hire in the next cubicle. It is the chemical that makes us interested in what we donΓÇÖt yet have, so we call it the ΓÇ£molecule of more.ΓÇ¥
How does it play a role in relationships?
MICHAEL LONG: Dopamine makes relationships begin. When you see someone attractive at a party, dopamine is the source of that excited feeling that makes you want to go over and meet that person. Dopamine is the source of romance. But once youΓÇÖre in a relationship, that dopamine excitement fades and eventually stops. That makes sense, because dopamineΓÇÖs job is to ΓÇ£hookΓÇ¥ us with the desire to investigate whatever is new. When something stops being new, dopamine stops giving you the good feeling. And thatΓÇÖs why romance fades.
DZL: The important thing to remember about dopamine is that it is only activated in response to possibility. If you see someone across the room who looks interesting, dopamine is activated, you feel excited. But if things work out, and you develop a relationship with this person, itΓÇÖs no longer something possible, itΓÇÖs something real, and dopamine isnΓÇÖt going to be playing a role anymore. If youΓÇÖre going to stay attached, youΓÇÖll have to find a reason that doesnΓÇÖt depend on the excitement of the possible. You need to be able to develop an appreciation for the person as a real human being. That means finding value in friendship, conversation, reliability, compatibility, kindness, the way they look, the physical relationship and many, many other things. ItΓÇÖs not as exciting as dopamine anticipation, but itΓÇÖs more satisfying and enduring.
Dopamine-driven romance is about imagination. Long-term relationships are about reality ΓÇô living in the here and now, which is affected by all the other neurotransmitters besides dopamine.
What are two or three ways dopamine influences your search for a mate?
ML: It can make you more superficial than you want to be. Remember that dopamine makes you lock onto anything appealing ΓÇô looks, clothes, cologne, even a look in someoneΓÇÖs eye. Those can be alluring, but they tell you nothing about the things that will matter in a long-term relationship. If youΓÇÖre looking for a relationship that will last, remember that the dopamine thrill of initial attraction can distract you from looking for the qualities in a mate that will matter over the years.
DZL: Finding someone to be with is hard. Going out to the clubs takes a lot more motivation and energy that ordering a pizza and watching Netflix. Putting yourself on the line and risking rejection is the hardest thing of all. Dopamine is the engine that makes these things possible. It gives you the energy, motivation, and hope that are needed to get you off the couch and out onto the playing field.
Is there any way to control the effect of dopamine? If so, how can you use it in your favor for a successful search and then success in a relationship?
DZL: ┬áRemember that dopamine is activated by whatΓÇÖs possible, not whatΓÇÖs real. That means that itΓÇÖs all about imagination. If youΓÇÖre trying to attract someone, think about ways you can stimulate their imagination, perhaps by being a little mysterious. Revealing things about yourself promotes emotional intimacy, but remaining an unknown promotes dopaminergic imagination to fill in the blanks with all sorts of exciting possibilities. Play around with balancing the two and see what works best for you. Have fun with it. Once youΓÇÖre in a relationship, try to surprise your partner occasionally. DonΓÇÖt be too predictable. You donΓÇÖt want to undermine the trust or safety within the relationship, but doing something your partner doesnΓÇÖt expect once in a while will inject little sparks of dopaminergic excitement into the relationship.
ML: And thereΓÇÖs something more, something big. In addition to giving us the emotional urge for more, dopamine gives us the intellectual ability to decide which things are actually worth pursuing, and how to get them. Scientists call this ΓÇ£mental time travel.ΓÇ¥ It means that we have a model of the world in our brains ΓÇô we know how things work, from driving a car to going on a date. We know what to expect, and we can play out possibilities in our imagination: If I eat the cookie now, IΓÇÖll enjoy it, but if I skip the cookie, IΓÇÖll stay on my diet and keep losing weight.
If youΓÇÖre looking for a relationship, do some mental time traveling. Ask questions that tell you about the character and habits of a potential partner. Then use mental time travel to decide if those are qualities you would appreciate over the years, if this person has compatible goals and interests, and if they share your deepest values. Play out a possible version of your life using this powerful aspect of dopamine, and make your choice based on what you figure out.
What should you know about others and their dopamine when seeking a mate?
ML: Some people have strong dopamine systems and others do not. ItΓÇÖs a matter of genetics and not something you can do much about. High dopamine shows itself in different ways for different people. For instance, they might be especially ambitious or creative, or good at starting businesses. The thing to remember about highly dopaminergic people is that they are especially attracted to whatever is ΓÇ£new and shiny.ΓÇ¥ As weΓÇÖve said, you donΓÇÖt have to be a servant to dopamine, but the stronger that urge is, the harder it is to resist. Keep that in mind if the artist you met last week is onto somebody else by the weekend.
DZL: People who are genetically predisposed to have highly active dopamine systems are exciting. Often theyΓÇÖre creative people, like artists, musicians or writers. Or they may be entrepreneurs or brilliant intellectuals. Unfortunately, the same chemical that makes them creative and ambitious will also make them more likely to be unfaithful. They have a tendency to seek out new things. ThatΓÇÖs just who they are. People who have less dopamine are going to be less exciting. They may want to stay home instead of going out, wear the same old clothes instead of the latest fashions. They may prefer making things with their hands instead of coming up with new ideas. But theyΓÇÖre more likely to be reliable, loyal, and trustworthy. You need to decide whatΓÇÖs important to you and accept the fact that itΓÇÖs a tradeoff.
Pick up their book,┬áThe Molecule of More: How a single chemical in your brain drives loves, sex, and creativity ΓÇô and well determine the fate of the human race, at Amazon.com and bookstores.
photo credit: couple_pixabay