Have you ever wondered why you fall in love? What exactly is this thing called love, and how can Kinesiology help you find and maintain a loving, healthy relationship?
The Chemistry of Love
Have you ever been in a relationship that you’ve had a tough time moving on from, even though you know it wasn’t right? Dopamine, one of the neurotransmitters responsible for that euphoria you get when you fall in love, is also what makes you continue to have strong attachments to your ex-partner even after the relationship is over.
Here's how it works. According to renowned psychologist and neurologist Jaak Panksepp (PhD), dopamine plays a big part in kickstarting the anticipation, motivation and excitement to seek out your goal, in this case, the object of your affection. Once the neurotransmitter serotonin is activated, the feelings created by dopamine subside and you feel satisfied. To add to this chemical cocktail, acts of intimacy such as touching, kissing and sex release the hormones oxytocin, vasopressin and endorphins, which enhance bonding and promote long-term attachment. If the relationship ends, your brain still seeks out that serotonin rush which, when not satisfied, leads to those dreaded feelings of withdrawal. Then there are those who are addicted to the "high" of love, which may keep them going from relationship to relationship in order to get their fix. For those in long-term relationship, it's important to keep 'stoking the fire' in order to maintain a healthy balance of all these love chemicals.
"There are no good men in Hong Kong." "I'm too old to be desirable." "I don't want to be hurt again." "I'm unlucky in love." Sound familiar? If love makes us feel good, then what's stopping us from finding it? Negative subconscious beliefs can keep us stuck in negative relationships patterns. Some may be due to repeated experiences, some may have roots in early childhood. This is when your neurological programming about love and relationships is formed. If you had someone tell you repeatedly that you were not attractive, it might have an impact on your confidence in relationships. If you grew up in an unstable environment that may have long term effects as well. Perhaps you equate pain with love, which may cause you to be attracted to the same types of partners and experience the same types of unfulfilling relationships.
If you're feeling stuck in a love rut, Kinesiology can help address imbalances in your neurochemistry and resolve negative patterns that might be getting in your way. As Stephen Chbosky so aptly put, "we accept the love we think we deserve." If we are to find true love, maybe we must first fall in love with ourselves.
- Joy Li, Kinesiologist