Is Your Relationship Making You Crazy?
You don’t have to be a marriage counselor to know that love is mysterious. And by mysterious I mean frustrating, joyful, heartbreaking, and breathtakingly, soul-stealingly gorgeous — all at the same time. Love breaks your door down and romantically sweeps you up, whether you want it or not. Love can prod you into fury, into agony, and into elation — sometimes all in the same day. When you’re in love you feel like you’re living in a perfect dream.
And then it can steal away as mysteriously as it came. You come home one day from grocery shopping to find that the passion’s paled into a wisp; Your once enchanting lover is now ignoring you in favor of obsessively scrolling through twitter, leaving fingernail clippings on the coffee table, and responding in distracted grunts.
What the heck happens to us? Why are we attracted to opposites, until they make us crazy? Why do we obsess over our beloved? Why does romantic love fade even as our attachment gets stronger? Why can anti-depressants totally change your relationship? What can we possibly do to keep love from withering in the boredom and banality of life?
Most marriage counselors and relationship coaches didn’t know the answer either, until Dr. Helen Fisher came along to flip the lights on and illuminate the mysterious nature of love.
Understanding Romantic Love
Through decades of research as a biological anthropologist, Dr. Fisher has uncovered the ancient secrets of love. (As in, monkey-brain ancient). Her groundbreaking work has revealed just how old, powerful, and biologically-based romantic love is through brain-image scanning.
For example, the drive for love lives in the same part of your brain as the drive for water and warmth. You know how, when you’ve been in love, it’s totally consumed you? You’re not imagining it: She’s shown that your brain is actually wired that way. Why do you feel like you’re going crazy when you break up, or when your attachment is threatened? Because romantic love has a lot in common with drug addiction.
There’s more: Through her work with Match.com and Chemistry.com Dr. Fisher has collected data from literally millions of people, and shown how your biologically based personality style determines your ideal lover. She has also helped us understand the biological basis of sex and love addiction, and the mechanisms at work in love, lust, and attachment. Her research pioneered new insights around how to de-mystify the love experience, and how to intentionally keep it alive for the long haul.
She’s given TED talks, written books, published articles in peer-reviewed journals: And now she’s here talking to you, on the Love, Happiness and Success Podcast.