" Scientists are discovering that cocktail of brain chemicals that sparks romance
is totally different from the blend that fosters long-term attachment.
So, what, really, is this thing called LOVE ? "

What is love? It may be the most mysterious thing in the world.
Recently, I've read an article from National Geographic Magazine VOL.209,
February 2006, by Lauren Slater.
I'd like to make a summary of it, mixing my feelings.

---------True Love---------True Love---------True Love---------True Love---------

Scientists has proved that romance is panhuman,
embeded in our brain since Pleistocene times(更新世).
But though it may be universal, its cultural expression is not.
However, I am very lucky because I was born in an era and an area taht we have
our own freedom of love.
席慕蓉願意在佛前祈求五百年,化作一棵開花的樹來等待,
I would say, in order to meet you, certainly, it is worth praying and waiting
for hundreds and hundreds of years.


We have relied on stories to explain the complexities of love.
Now, however, these stories - so much a part of every civilization - may be changing
as science steps in to explain what we have always felt to be myth, to be magic.
New research has begun to illuminate where love lies in the brain,
the particulars of its chemical components.

Scientists try to find what true love is. The MRI machine shows interesting pictures:
when each subject looked at his or her loved one,
the parts of the brain linked to pleasure lit up.
Love lights up the nucleus (細胞核) because it is home to a dense spread of receptors
called dopamine(多巴胺), which scientists came to think of as part of our own
endogenous (【生化】內因性的) love portion.
Dopamine creates intense energy, exhilaration, focused attention and motivations.
It is why love makes us bright.

Sometimes it's not necessary to put every thing under the scientific experiment.
For one thing I can sure: It is you that always make me energetic !!


Psychoanalysts have built countless theories about why we fall in love with whom we do.
Freud would have said your choice is influenced by the unrequited wish to your mother
(if you are a boy) or father (if you are a girl).
Jung believed that passion is driven by some kind of collective unconscious.
Today psychiatrists hyposize that romantic love is rooted in our earliest infantile
experiences with intimacy.
According to this theory, love is reactive, not proactive.
It arches us backward, which may be why people just "feels right" or "feels familiar".
I believed these psychological theories were more or less correct.
Nevertheless, no one is able to give a 100% answer.
And I think it is unnecessary to find out WHY or HOW people fall in love with whom they do.
From my viewpoint,
LOVE DOES NOT NEED ANY REASON !


In the other hand, why doesn't passionate love last?
Studies around the world confirm that, indeed, passion usually ends.
It's conclusion is as common as its initial flare.
Biologically speaking, the reasons romantic love fades away be found in the way our
brains respond to the surge and pulse of dopamine that accompanies passion.
Some researches indicate that love and "obsessive-compulsive disorder" (【心】強迫症)
could have a similar chemical profile.
That is, love and mental illness may be difficult to tell apart.
(HA! I think of this song: 戀愛症候群 by黃舒駿)
(And that's why people say that once in love, our IQ plunges?
Or "Love is blind" ? )

Perhaps the brain is unable to maintain the intense neural activity of infatuation.
Thus, psychologists suggest that sometimes we can say it is a good thing that passion fizzles.


What's the difference between short-term passion and long-term attachment?
From a physiological point of view, in the long-run, couples will moved from
the "dopamine-drenched" state of romantic love to the relative of an "oxytocin-included" attachment.
The chemical noun is not important. We don't have to realise it exactly.
But it's important for us to pass into a long-term attachment.


Shakepeare said: The course of true love never did run smooth.
Undoutedly, love is a long way to go.
We "grow" love. And so does it !!



Never let you cry.
It is my wish, and my duty.
Passion usually ends, but my WILL will last forever.



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