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Thread: How practical is romance when choosing a lifelong mate?

  1. #1

    How practical is romance when choosing a lifelong mate?

    This is the key question in a National Geographic article I just read on the subject of love (and yes I do read National Geographic). Having just had a bit of an up and down emotional week plus spending an amazing session with Amy of xxxtase, this seemed like a relevant question for MERB members. The article is excellent because it discusses so many issues that make us wonder why we want GFE from SPs and how some of us still go home to our families happy afterwards. Its basically about research on the chemical reactions of romance and the bonding that occurs in couples who remain happily married long after romance has disappeared. Its pretty long so I'll only mention a couple of key findings.

    Regarding romantic love (i.e. the GFE effect), researchers who studied the behaviour of the brain in people who had been in love for about 6 months found that they had a similar chemical profile to people with obsessive-complusive disorder. They found their serotonin levels to be 40% lower than normal which basically means that love and mental illness may be hard to tell apart. In addition, love also seems to release high levels of dopamine into our systems when we are exposed to the objects of our romantic love creating feelings of attraction - so basically its fun in the short term but long term exposure to romantic love is likely to be bad for your mental and physical health (I think we've all experienced that).

    Researchers have also found that in all cultures and societies that romantic love fades over time and may be replaced with a form of bonding between a husband and wife that is necessary to make it through the child-rearing years. Interestingly, certain cultures such as in India generally arrange marriages and frown on love-based marriage. Their attitude is that such an important lifelong union should not be left to something as unreliable as fleeting, romantic love. The bonding is also dependent on a chemical called oxytocin. If you have lots of oxytocin, you are more likely to bond in general and especially with your close ones such as parents, children and spouses.

    One of the more interesting observations in the article is that it is best that romantic love does fade over time otherwise nothing of significance would have ever been accomplished in the world and we'd all still be living in grass huts or igloos. However what really struck me in the article was the plain admission by the author that it is normal for romantic love to fade into a comfortable existence with our spouse over time, assuming there wasn't too little seretonin initially and too little oxytocin later on. I think there is too much media-induced psycosis on maintaining romantic love with a single person throughout a lifetime - get real - give me more oxytocin!

    There is conflict however on the need for romantic love. Some believe it is really driven by our desire to recapture the first feelings of love we may have early in life. However others believe it driven by survival of the fittest where we are attracted to those most likely to produce healthy children. Hence we prefer women with a 70% waist to hip ratio (who doesn't) and men with a rugged look that suggests a strong dose of testosterone. Apparently BO also plays a role where we are attracted to mates who's BO suggests a complementary genetic make-up as some research has shown.

    So I felt good at the end of the article - it is natural to want to meet healthy looking SPs for a GFE to generate dopamine and make me feel crazy like a kid again. And I can go home and count on my oxytocins to keep me happily married - although I may need a booster shot of those from time to time. Finally, I did love the BO in the room after a couple of hours of GFE sex with Amy - she may be the right long-term fit. But alas, I had to go home.

  2. #2

    Food for thought

    Nice post MakeIt! For the divorced guy - Once is more than enough! Kinda helps a guy resolve the issue of whether to step in it again later on in life. In this litigous society I think I'll just hire someone to wipe the soup off my chin down the road if that's the best excuse for a repeat. Seems the GFE sp's have resolved the issue of any other benefits
    Last edited by Regular Guy; 01-21-2006 at 11:21 AM.
    Confucius say: Man who take woman into house on side of hill - not on level.

  3. #3
    Looking back over the many comments I've seen by hobbyists, I would say there is a large number that are divorced. I wonder if its higher than the average (worth a poll perhaps) but what I really wonder is if at the root of many divorces is a real disconnect between men and women about how marriage should evolve. My sense is that many if not most women want romance to continue as if it was the first date all the time. Men on the other hand want to settle into a comfortable lifestyle where they can have a good relationaship without feeling like they have to be on their first date all the time. I think this disconnect is behind many of the disagreements in couples and when the couple can't resolve this disconnect, then they disconnect permanently. I think when women accept what men seem to know is inevitable, that you can't recapture the feeling of those first few dates and move on with life, then the relationship has a better chance. That's what I really liked about this article - it seems to better support men's POV that you settle into a comfortable relationship without all the GFE stuff. Of course, we still want the GFE stuff, just not with our spouses.

  4. #4

    Dopamine deficiency

    is what causes Parkinson's disease. So as a corollary, seeing sps for GFE helps ward off PD !

    BTW, thanks for a nice post, MakeIt. Would you happen to have the link that contains the original article in its entirety? Personally, I have never been married and enjoy my freedom to partake in this hobby at my own leisure and pace as time permits so seeing an article grounded in chemical rationalization is just what the doc ordered !
    A demander: une cochonne Quebecoise ou Allemande avec qui le sol se derobe sous mes pieds!

  5. #5
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    Quote Originally Posted by oliver kloseoff
    my dad told me marriage is an instutition for people who belong in an instution!

    oliver
    Good one

  6. #6
    Quote Originally Posted by picasso
    is what causes Parkinson's disease. So as a corollary, seeing sps for GFE helps ward off PD !

    BTW, thanks for a nice post, MakeIt. Would you happen to have the link that contains the original article in its entirety? Personally, I have never been married and enjoy my freedom to partake in this hobby at my own leisure and pace as time permits so seeing an article grounded in chemical rationalization is just what the doc ordered !
    NG only publishes their articles in print. However, there is a pretty good excerpt on their web site:

    http://www7.nationalgeographic.com/n...re2/index.html

    Worh reading as it contains one of the best quotes from the article:

    "A woman unconsciously uses orgasms as a way of deciding whether or not a man is good for her. If he's impatient and rough, and she doesn't have the orgasm, she may instinctively feel he's less likely to be a good husband and father. Scientists think the fickle female orgasm may have evolved to help women distinguish Mr. Right from Mr. Wrong."

  7. #7
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    Count me in

    I fit that exactly. I have the SO and happy in a deep rooted sense with being institutionalized, because together we are achieving some nice goals.
    Like raising kids and becoming financially independant (aka debt free).

    However I love the adrenaline rush of meeting the girls, that I treat like royalty. I give them back respect, TLC and donate for their well-being.

    The SO not being in the same biorythm as the male, is quite normal. I found that my occasional MP hobbying has increased my desire with my SO. So it's a positive thing, and I make sure I don't abuse. So hobbying is better, healthier, than alcohool or drugs, that also affect dopamine levels. Though all three are addictive.

    How about how the non-Roman Catholic Church societies that include these activities into their social behavior? I'd like to know more on that. Let's get some non-Catholic born guys posting...
    ...larger than ever
    ...but divorce had me lose weight...I can see the tip now!

  8. #8
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    Quote Originally Posted by CantSeeMrHappy
    Like raising kids and becoming financially independant (aka debt free).
    One would assume that to be an impossible mission .

  9. #9
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    Quote Originally Posted by AutumnHaze
    One would assume that to be an impossible mission .
    It is quite difficult. When you start, you don't think it will be so difficult. This is where Romance can mislead. Impossible goals will be possible, that sort of thing.

    When the kids become teens, drugs and alcohool, wanting to be cool and all that. Very difficult at times, lots of ups and downs.

    But hey, life, responsabilities. No matter how difficult, if I let up, or give up, what message do the kids get?

    So what does the big cat do? He gets friends...the cuddly bosom type. Long-term relationships have a tendancy of bouncing back.
    ...larger than ever
    ...but divorce had me lose weight...I can see the tip now!

  10. #10
    CSMH

    Sounds like were in the same boat - high levels of oxytocin with the occasional need for a rush of dopamine.

    MakeIt

  11. #11
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    Nice to know I'm normal

    Quote Originally Posted by MakeIt
    CSMH

    Sounds like were in the same boat - high levels of oxytocin with the occasional need for a rush of dopamine.

    MakeIt
    Add to that a need for wonderful long legs on a five foot 11 inches dancer whose initials are AH...
    ...larger than ever
    ...but divorce had me lose weight...I can see the tip now!

  12. #12
    Quote Originally Posted by CantSeeMrHappy
    Add to that a need for wonderful long legs on a five foot 11 inches dancer whose initials are AH...
    5'11" ? Sounds intriging. I guess I'll have to make my way down to Cleos sometime and hopefully find her there.

  13. #13
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    Quote Originally Posted by CantSeeMrHappy
    It is quite difficult. When you start, you don't think it will be so difficult. This is where Romance can mislead. Impossible goals will be possible, that sort of thing.

    When the kids become teens, drugs and alcohool, wanting to be cool and all that. Very difficult at times, lots of ups and downs.

    But hey, life, responsabilities. No matter how difficult, if I let up, or give up, what message do the kids get?

    So what does the big cat do? He gets friends...the cuddly bosom type. Long-term relationships have a tendancy of bouncing back.
    Well , I'm sure you're amazing at everything you do CantSeeMrHappy

  14. #14
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    AH, Cuddling is my strong suit, and there's lots of me to cuddle and hang on to
    ...larger than ever
    ...but divorce had me lose weight...I can see the tip now!

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