How Do You Love?

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Yes I do ... but be loved... that's something else.

When looking across the entire spectrum of human emotion, the feeling I’ve had the most difficult time trying to encapsulate and internalize is without a doubt, love. Love for me has always been a bit of an enigma. I can perceive it in others and I can conceptualize it, but I’ve always had this sneaking suspicion that the way I define it and the way I experience it is starkly different from everyone else. Today I want to explore that. I want to take some time to discuss some of the things I’ve discovered about the innate nature of love and some things I’ve discovered about myself and my approach along the way. Bear with me on this one folks – it’s going to seem like I’m jumping around, but I’m gonna bring it back home – I promise.

The first place I’d like to go in this exploration is science. What does science say about love? Well, like everything with science – it depends on who you ask. Most of the more reliable scientific research defines love as a series of hormones released at varying stages of a relationship. It is the release of testosterone and estrogen when a man and woman first meet that fuels initial attraction. The cause of this release can be a number of things from the obvious characteristics like aesthetics and grooming, to the not so obvious like body language and smell. After that initial attraction is established and the two of you begin exploring that attraction, the part of our brain that controls reward (the ventral tegmental) is activated. This part of the brain causes the release of dopamine – an addictive, ecstasy inducing hormone. You know that feeling you get when you hit the winning shot in a game of basketball, or that feeling you might have when you ace an exam you’ve been studying for – that’s dopamine – your brain’s way of rewarding you for your success. When we are engaged by an individual we’re attracted to, our brain releases dopamine giving us those same feelings of pleasure.

As with most drugs, that “dope” high is fleeting and the longer you’re with someone the more difficult it becomes for that person to stimulate your ventral tegmental and release that dopamine. This is where the hormone oxytocin kicks in. Oxytocin is one of the most amazing things produced naturally by our bodies. To put it plainly, oxytocin is like emotional glue. When released in our bodies it binds us to the individuals responsible for that release. The times where scientists see the greatest amounts of Oxytocin released in humans: you guessed it … during child birth and during an orgasm. This explains why the connection between a mother and her newly born child is immediate and usually unshakeable even though she really doesn’t know the child. Likewise, when two people bring each other to orgasm during sex – particularly if that orgasm is simultaneous, the amount of oxytocin present in the room at that time is off the charts and the bond that is subsequently created is incomparable to any other bond humans have between one another. Sex is natural, sex is beautiful, sex is powerful and as far as science is concerned, sex is love making.

The thing that intrigues me about this scientific approach to defining love is that because all of these feelings we have are caused by our bodies release of specific hormones, the love we feel for others is essentially uncontrollable. We can try and fake it, but truthfully those hormones are either released, or they are not. Now while we can’t control our own hormonal release we can manipulate how others perceive us in order to stimulate a certain hormonal response in them. To put it plainly, based on the science, by perfecting your ability to stimulate hormonal release in others it is completely possible to manipulate someone into loving you regardless of how you may or may not feel about that person.

How does one do this you might ask? Well, if you’re a man unscrupulous enough to want to make a woman fall for you just for the sport – the biological steps are easy. Upon introduction, mind your body language; keep your shoulders back, your chin up and stand close enough to her to indicate interest without violating her personal space. Be clean and don’t wear heavy scents. Our bodies produce natural pheromones that attract the opposite sex but excessive odor caused by uncleanliness or heavy cologne can overpower and distract those natural olfactory aphrodisiacs. Add to that a decent wardrobe, some education and a dash of swag and by now she’s probably attracted, or at least intrigued. All you have to do from here is feed her natural dopamine addiction. The easiest way to do this is to control the consistency and depth of your communication. Instead of having a three hour phone conversation that ends happily having exhausted all there is to talk about, have a one our conversation that leaves her happy, but wanting more. After that, the only thing left is sex. If you can find away to give her the best sex of her life, you’ve pretty much sealed your place in her heart.

Ladies, don’t feel bad, you have this same power over men. Upon meeting a man, wear clothes that afford him the opportunity to take note of the language your body is talking while leaving a lot to his imagination. Don’t be afraid to stand close to him and let him inhale a hint of all that makes you a woman. Add to that a decent shoe game, some education and a dash of swag and by now he’s probably attracted, or at least intrigued. From here, feed his addiction to dopamine by making yourself available to him at your leisure – not his. Then, all that’s left is sex. When the bedroom door closes and the lights go off, introduce him to your Sasha Fierce and your place in his heart will be sealed forever. This may not get you down the aisle – but you’ll at least have access to more of him than any other woman he’s ever known – on your own terms – for as long as you desire.

Look, I realize there are many other factors that can override the impact of hormones – particularly things like culture, social constructs and societal expectations – but biologically, it’s that simple. What separates men from women is that men use these powers indiscriminately and women only use them when a man has already piqued their interest.

So what does all of this say about love? And where do I fit in all of this. I grew up believing that love was this inexplicable, inextricable, natural emotion. I thought it was something that was impossible to avoid and impossible to control. But this belief didn’t coincide with what I was experiencing because – no matter how hard I tried, I never felt it. What I’ve come to understand about myself is that I am one of those rare people whose brain has repressed its ability to allow others to influence my production of estrogen, dopamine and oxytocin at the same rates as everyone else. But the fact that I don’t feel love as much as everyone else doesn’t mean that I don’t know it’s there. I know that I am loved and because I know this, I’m able to reciprocate that love. By developing my own ability to stimulate that release of love in others I’ve been able to give back that which those who love me have given me – even if I’ve never fully accepted their gift. But that still leaves me with one question … am I being manipulative?

And what about you guys? Do you guys notice a difference between loving and being loved? Is your love the result of conscious effort, or is it something completely beyond your control? Anyone out there cold and bitter and incapable of anything related to love? All are welcome here – feel free to share how you got where ever it is you are. I really just wanna know: How do you love?

*Admin Note*

Save the Date! Next Wednesday, August 31, 2011 – The SBM Fam will be hosting Happy Hour at The Empire Room at The Empire State Building from 6-10pm, please RSVP to [email protected] for further information and confirmation.

till then, yall know where I am – low and firing.

*Admin Note 2.0*

So that we can maintain site speed and preserve the likable like button, we’ve implemented a new comment system. You’ll find that it has a few cool features. Go forth and be merry with it.

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  • http://www.poshmiss.com PoshMiss.Com

    Very interesting way to look at love. I still believe that love is a verb. We choose to love and we choose who we love. It is not just a feeling we get because of hormones. When the hormones are gone, do we just stop loving the person? I have learned that the only true love does not involve falling, it involves growing. When you grow in love with someone, it takes more than the occassionally lack of a chemical reaction to knock you off of your love walk. Choose love :).
    My recent post Who Runs the World? Girls??? Is that why everything is so jacked up?

    • Most

      Ultimately I agree with you and I think that's what I was pointing out in the piece; that love isn't something we decide to feel, it's something someone's actions encourage us to feel. Because of this feeling, we act in a way that encourages them to feel similarly.

      • http://www.poshmiss.com PoshMiss.Com

        I think love acts even if it is not loved back. Or at least it should. Love should not be based on how one's actions make us feel, but a conscious choice we make regardless of how they act towards us. I think you are speaking of the person's characteristics that can cause us to want to love them?

        • Most

          We are saying the same thing, I think – it's just our intentions are different.

          What I'm saying is that though loving and being loved typically enjoys a cause and effect relationship (we love because we're loved, or we're loved because we love) by nature, the two are mutually exclusive; one side can exist without the other. Someone can have no love for you at all yet still do the things to you one does that cause in you the chemical reactions I described the post – which will typically lead you to loving them.

  • http://panamaenrique.wordpress.com Malik

    To love is a conscious effort because love isn't only about receiving positive feedback. It's a continuous action that permeates throughout your entire existence. I suppose my definition of love is closer to what 'morality' is rather than tied to emotions. I view it from a pragmatic and intellectualize stance than 'warm and fuzzes' even if those same things do play a crucial factor in love.

    I think what you more accurately described is 'to be in love' which encompasses all of those manufactured, if I may choose a contentious word, because that phrasing is usually coupled with the belief that everything is copasetic.

    Off-Topic: My first impression on the new comment section is that it is better by a far margin than the past one. A negative is now we have ever smaller pictures.

    • http://www.therealslimjackson.com Slim Jackson

      "Off-Topic: My first impression on the new comment section is that it is better by a far margin than the past one. A negative is now we have ever smaller pictures."

      Noted and fixed.
      My recent post 5 Lessons Learned From Writing

      • krystllyght

        I like it Slim but the “like” button isn’t there on my phone. It’s there on my laptop though. #weird

        • Starita34

          I have no like button…

    • tgtaggie

      +1 and co-sign. I was having this same conversation with my sister this past weekend.

  • Lola

    This was a very well written post Most. It really makes you think exactly how you/one actually ends up being in love. We all love differently, and it takes something that triggers that instinct within us to lead us to love.

    For me when I got there it was more than just what the other person was doing to make me fall in love. And I say make me fall in love because how you say, we can make and manipulate people to fall in love with us, but what made me fall was the fact that he loved me for who I am, let me be me and made me feel more than better about my self, made me see that finally someone out there was able and capable of loving me just how I love myself. Pair that with all the other little actions done and I fell face first.

    Again, great post!

  • Tellylonglegs

    I love hard….Dopamine is a helluva drug.

    If essentially sex is love-making, how are most guys able to have sex with several women and have great sex with them but not love them or be in love with them?

    • Most

      I think there are a number of answers to this question Telly.

      One of the things I mentioned in the post is that while, biologically, all this stuff is true, other non-biological influences can sorta override our natural inclinations. With men, I think society expects us to go out and sow our wild oats. We're cultured to believe that sleeping with lots of women is the norm and something necessary to validate manhood. So in many ways that can override the natural effects of oxytocin.

      My recent post That Certain Something “Watch The Throne” is Missing

  • Tash

    I love the ventral tegmental reference…VTA…very nice.

    Pour moi, the love factor has always been a case of "the heart wants what it wants." Very rarely does someone whom I'm initially not attracted to at all "come around." And by attraction, I don't only mean physically…I mean heart-wise. There is either a click or there isn't.
    Now, with the click, I either make the decision to go forward and indulge my affection, or something turns me off along the way and I move along. However, a conscious, or in my younger days, subconscious decision is always made.
    It takes away from the Disney-esque idea of love, however, that's as real as it gets for me. The loves of my life share very little physically, their scents vary across the board, their swag span the male-spectrum, and their skin tones encompass the rainbow, however, what each did to the strings of my heart, was stretch it beyond measure…and left a permanent mark. Hence, when I love, I CHOOSE to love hard.
    Great post!

    • Most

      Glad you enjoyed!

      There's nothing wrong with tempering the effects of all those hormones by adding a little logic to the mix. It's all about finding a balance between getting high for the sake of getting high and having a productive relationships.
      My recent post That Certain Something “Watch The Throne” is Missing

  • Ace Liburd

    I have falling in love once before and it was that feeling of complete acceptance and thought that this person woman appreciated and loved me for whoi was not for who she wanted me to be. That being societal expections I think play as great a role in who we allow ourselves to love, and I say allow because you have to be open to it in the first instance and if your heart is open to the idea of trusting someone else and allowing for love to happen it is possible. Because love does happen and if you seek you shall find it.
    My recent post Why People Gamble In Life

  • chrissied87

    First off this is a great post and I’m new to SBM but I repost a lot of y’alls content! Awesome stuff, great food for thought!

    I think that or hormones do play a very big role in our attraction to others but essentially it is our conscious decision whether out not we are willing to be in love with that person.

    • Starita34

      Hey there :-) *hands you some muffins and fruit* Welcome!

      • chrissied87

        Thank you starita! Gladly accepts! :)

  • http://www.therealslimjackson.com Slim Jackson

    1. I'm really curious to see if anybody raises their hand to admit being cold and bitter.
    2. There's a big difference in loving vs. being loved, given that there are so many folks that don't know how to give love or receive it. That's a separate post in and of itself. This goes beyond the 5 love languages and speaks to how folks are growing up these days.

    For me personally, I recognize it when I feel it. And when I do, it takes more energy to suppress it than it does to tell the person how I feel. Coincidentally, the times that I've felt it the strongest didn't really have anything to do with the bunz. Could be wrong though. Maybe I've convinced myself that had nothing to do with it.
    My recent post 5 Lessons Learned From Writing

    • max

      I haven't read the post or the rest of the comments yet but I'll jump in and say that I am definitely cold. Maybe not bitter, but definitely cold. And insensitive to anyone's feelings but my own.

  • https://twitter.com/MsDulceDeLeche Ms.DulceDeLeche

    I have never thought about love like this. For me, I am one of those people who loves to love (wished it was always corresponded). A big part of learning how to love someone is being willing to open yourself to the experience. I don't care too much for the science of it, because I just find it so beautiful as an unknown. I think there are very few people who have the ability to really breakdown the walls of past experiences and help you discover parts of your self, you never knew existed. The level of happiness and satisfaction that I get from being able to do the same or a percentage for that person can't be explained. In my experience love is the product of hard work, time and care. I think of love like a flower, in order for it to grow strong and healthy you have to care of it, feed it, nurture it and provide it with everything it needs. The minute you stop working on love, it starts to die. Is unfortunate that such beautiful experience is strongly associated with pain but I guess the saying is true….no pain, no gain. I think there is something undeniably amazing about letting someone in your heart and exploring such emotion. I am a true believer that is better to have loved and lost than never to have loved at all. You can lust for someone, based on their initial interaction, but it is what comes after that ultimately makes you fall in love.

    SB: I like the new comments section but I am with Slim, pictures are now extra small.

    • Starita34

      *like*

  • That Damn African

    "Is your love the result of conscious effort, or is it something completely beyond your control?"

    It's both, but more of the former. Like you said, as biological entities our actions and emotions are ultimately triggered by electrical and chemical signals. Stimulate the right synapse at the right time and you can induce almost any action or emotion in a person. At the same time, as humans we're able to use our cognition to override those instinctual feelings and desires, or lack thereof. In the end, your electrochemical signals get you started down the path of love, but your conscious effort keeps you there (or doesn't).

    • Starita34

      Thank you doctor ;-)

  • Dr. J

    I look at love in various ways. I think there is falling in love, being in love, and loving. A long time ago, I noticed something about myself that scared me. I was capable of falling out of love with someone; I think everyone is capable of this. I forget what led me to believe this but shortly thereafter I started to realize that I needed to make some changes. This is a really crass analogy but… it's sort of like the fact that as a man I cannot keep myself from an erection when I see an attractive woman, however I can control what I do with that erection. I can't help who I fall in love with, that's not up to me. But after I fall in love, I have to control that love. So for me, i've always put a lot of effort into my love. Now when I look at being in love with someone I think about it like i'm the parent of that love. I have to nurture it, raise it, and grow it into something that I will be proud of in the long run. When I think about who I will marry, I don't think that the embryonic stage will last forever. So when I look at it, I think about it like I enjoy the possibility of working at something for a long time and seeing it through. I may not look at my wife like I did at 25 when i'm 65. But I will look at the 40 years we've spent together and think "Wow i've managed to do this and do it well and I love that." It's like my favorite sports team. I don't fall out of love with them, I get a rush for riding and dying for my team for years. So like an owner of a sports team or a parent of a child, your love can last a long time and can bring you fulfillment.

    How do I love? My love is overwhelming, I love making the person i'm with feel that they are loved and also that I am caring for them, while taking care of them. That's me, not everyone else is like that. Some people like to come together as a force. I'm more of a provider. I make moves in my life in a more traditional manner. I guess for that reason i've never seen myself in a "power couple" relationship, but more of a breadwinner who takes a wife.

    PS – On another note, this post was an exceptional one. If Dexter had a blog, i'm pretty sure this would be one of his posts. The way you brought this one home Most made you sound almost exactly like what Dexter has shown us throughout the history of the TV show.
    My recent post How Can I Mess Up Your Self-Esteem?

    • http://www.WisdomIsMisery.com @WisdomIsMisery

      Did you just lowkey call Most a serial killer tho?

      *exits*

      • Most

        Seriously though, I'm a highly functional sociopath. It is not morality that prevents me from killing people but instead, logic. Most people who aren't mass murders aren't because they believe that killing people is inherently wrong. I don't know if I necessarily have that innate feeling. I don't kill people because killing people is illogical and I don't want to deal with the repercussions of such acts.
        My recent post That Certain Something “Watch The Throne” is Missing

        • DeKeLa

          I tried explaining this to people and they tend to walk away very slowly…

        • GirlSixx

          @ Most and DeKela

          Hmmm. Okay.

          Why are the hairs standing straight up on the back of my neck right about now?

          *walksbrisklywhilelookinovermyshoulder*

        • QueenT

          @Girlsixx…I'm running right behind you. lol

        • Hugh Jazz

          I always believed there are three reasons why people don't do something considered immoral. They either have no desire to do the act, they fear the consequences, or societal or other outside influence that says the act is wrong.

          That's the thing about logic. If you focus on it too hard, you can start justifying some extremely sociopathic behavior. And it is completely logical and rational.

        • Starita34

          That’s the thing about logic. If you focus on it too hard, you can start justifying some extremely sociopathic behavior. And it is completely logical and rational.”

          So, so, so much truth in this statement. Which is why sometimes you have to go against conventional “logic” to achieve your goals. Quitting your job doesn’t seem like the logical way to get ahead financially, but at some point you gotta take that leap of faith for your new business.

  • Smilez_920

    Great Post,

    Anyone out there cold and bitter and incapable of anything related to love?

    Lol I wouldn’t call it cold and bitter but I’m pretty lost in the showing love department (other than with family and friends). Sorry I just can’t show love (in a romantic way) before the other person (man) does. I want be caught in the giving never to receive type of relationship. It’s not healthy and I’ve had a taste of it and it’s not FUN at all. But other than that I have a pretty big heart, I’m not mean or selfish, just very timid in the showing/ giving end. Now the receiving love end I’m kind awkward on that aspect to, maybe I’m to skeptical, because I’m always trying to make sure the feeling of love/like being given is real or fake.

  • twism

    First, really good post. I love the science of things even when it comes to emotions and things not deemed "scientific". I definitely feel there's a difference between loving and being loved. And I think it's just as it sounds; "loving" is an action. To be fair I think it's a set of actions you take towards another person to show you care. It's what you "do" in order to express your feelings. Whereas being loved is passive. You're not required to do anything to be loved. If someone loves you, hopefully you feel the same for them, but unrequited love exists. I think this is where the science comes in. Once that release of neurotransmitters has been released in someone towards you, there's not much you and/or they can do about it. Sure you can foster their love, hopefully you reciprocate it, but we all know – either through first-hand experience or through friends/family – there are people who abuse the love they're given.

    I believe love can be both conscious and unconscious; though for me personally it's conscious. I don't fall for someone easily. It takes time for me, which I guess some would consider being cold, but I don't think that's the case. Mainly because I think I unintentionally release love in others. I've kicked this idea around in my head before when I've looked back on the different situationships I've had. I think I'm unconsciously "loving" by nature, and it's put me in some uncomfortable positions. But to truly love – at least to me – is to accept the responsibility of someone else's heart and do what you can to not only protect it, but cultivate it.

    Alright, this is longer than I expected, but I'll tag along/ add a little to your question, Most: If you repeatedly have people fall for you – even unintentionally – is it manipulative?

    • Beef Bacon

      "Most: If you repeatedly have people fall for you – even unintentionally – is it manipulative? "

      I think it would depends on your intentions. If you are sincerely seeking to explore a relationship with this person, it's not manipulation, just a sign that they are responding to your sincereity. However, if you are only around to hit it, of course it is manipulation. Because even if you gave the person an option to stay or go, the heart wants what it wants. Being able to walk away from someone that you will ultimately hurt is a lost art. Some would rather selfishly use a person's love.

      • GirlSixx

        But how can someone control the way another person feels about them?

        • Beef Bacon

          You cannot control how another person feels, however you can control how you react to the feelings.

          I cannot, in good conscience continue to romantically deal with another person…if I know I cannot see going past something shallow. That is using people. No matter how you slice it.

          That’s like me constantly accepting gifts from dude, knowing I don't want to be with him. Love is a gift and should be treated as such.

        • twism

          I don't think you can control it, per se, but you can definitely do things to influence their feelings.

    • cynicaloptmst81

      "But to truly love – at least to me – is to accept the responsibility of someone else's heart and do what you can to not only protect it, but cultivate it."

      I'm not sure why exactly, but reading that line made me want to cry…

      Now, I know you didn't ask me but…um…I think it only becomes manipulative if you are consciously loving to reach a desired end…or consciously refusing to understand or know what you're doing unconsciously that puts you in these situations.

  • Most

    There are a number of things that were supposed to go into this post that didn't make it because it was just getting to be too long. Instead, I'll bring them up here and maybe we can explore some of them in the comments.

    One of the things I wanted to explore were the religious definitions of love. In Christianity we learn about biblical love through 1st Corinthians 13. (Love is Patient love is kind… etc) This is a more dutiful definition of how one loves – but it doesn't seem to take into account any of the uncontrollable biological responses we have to certain stimulation.

    My recent post That Certain Something “Watch The Throne” is Missing

    • NinaFontaine

      I wish you would explore this. I know people look at this definition of love when it comes to spousal relationships but I see it as how we are to love each other as people of God. It is a great road map for marriage but do you think biological responses incite the "want" to perform these duties?

      • Most

        "It is a great road map for marriage but do you think biological responses incite the "want" to perform these duties?"

        Maybe, but if you're not the kind of person who has access to those biological responses … then what? You end up trying to reciprocate love that you know is there, but that you don't necessarily feel. That's what I'm exploring in the post … lol.

        My recent post That Certain Something “Watch The Throne” is Missing

    • http://48forpanache.blogspot.com 48

      Firstly, you did a phenomenal job with this post – your explanation of the biological aspects was just outstanding.

      I think 1Cor 13 covers agape love even though it’s mostly used when discussing eros (romantic/sexual love) – it’s basically just a guideline for how to treat people when showing the love of God. Of course these principles must be applied to romantic relationships especially if the intent is ‘grow’ that sexual/chemical love into something more substantive.

      • Most

        But see, the thing with 1Cor 13 is that it tells us how to love, but not how to be loved. It tells how we express our love to someone else, but not what we should feel when someone is expressing that towards us.
        My recent post That Certain Something “Watch The Throne” is Missing

        • http://48forpanache.blogspot.com 48.

          Actually I think it's implicit – you're to be loved the same way. Each of the adjectives used elicit different sensations/feelings when expressed towards us e.g 'love is selfless' i know how I feel when someone does something truly selfless for me. Do you not feel anything when your partner steps outside of her wants/needs to cater to yours?

          I don't think we need instructions on how to receive(what to feel) love…it's a basic yearning since every human being desires to be loved(per our love languages of course) and even if there's difficulty with this basic aspect, it can be resolved by being open and working collaboratively with one's partner.

  • Most

    The other thing I wanted to spend more time on, but had to scrap, was the effect of consistent loss on our ability to love – in the scientific sense. Losing love is real and the biological effects of having someone who's been a primary provider of those chemical reactions can be very affecting.

    Many hospitals have volunteer organizations come in just to hold abandoned babies. That's all the volunteers do – they just sit and hold babies who've been left their by their mother. This is because if a baby isn't held in those first few weeks … if it isn't loved in those first few weeks – the damage is irreparable – it never learns how to love.
    My recent post That Certain Something “Watch The Throne” is Missing

    • http://livelovesingwithme.tumblr.com LiveLoveSing

      This is a very real aspect and I’m glad you brought it up here :-)

      I think another aspect of love that’s often overlooked is when someone has consistently lost loved ones. The loss can be in different ways – death, emotional abandonment, physically leaving, etc. I don’t know if the result of this is being scared to allow yourself to love or actually losing the ability to do so but I’ve seen it manifest in both ways – neither is pretty.

      • http://livelovesingwithme.tumblr.com LiveLoveSing

        ugh this was supposed to go under Most's comment about holding mother-less babies in hospitals >_<
        My recent post “SLAVE Earrings” Will NEVER BE VOGUE

  • Most

    The other thing I wanted to spend more time on, but had to scrap, was the effect of consistent loss on our ability to love – in the scientific sense. Losing love is real and the biological effects of having someone who's been a primary provider of those chemical reactions can be very affecting.

    Many hospitals have volunteer organizations come in just to hold abandoned babies. That's all the volunteers do – they just sit and hold babies who've been left their by their mother. This is because if a baby isn't held in those first few weeks … if it isn't loved in those first few weeks – the damage is irreparable – it never learns how to love.
    My recent post That Certain Something “Watch The Throne” is Missing

    • http://twitter.com/itztrizz617 herbetteroption (@itztrizz617)

      damn now that wayne song is in my head…

      • Most

        Funny enough, the original title of this post was "how to love." But I changed it to "How Do You Love" because I felt like the former didn't give a good enough indication as to what the post would actually be about.
        My recent post That Certain Something “Watch The Throne” is Missing

    • Beef Bacon

      When people say I can live without love, I think about the babies. I have read tha tin several countries, in orphanages they get women to hold and cuddle the babies. The rate of infant deaths drop dramatically due to this and that is beautiful to know that something as simple as someone ELSE caring for you could cause life.

      • Muze

        it is amazing. it's the same with premature babies. if you have a preemie in the NICU, it is imperative that you are there every day to talk to them quietly and touch them lightly, as they have something like a 50% greater chance of surviving as a preemie that doesn't receive that. so powerful.
        My recent post The Acquiescence

  • krystllyght

    I love this post Most.

    Is your love the result of conscious effort, or is it something completely beyond your control?

    At this point, eleven years in, it feels like conscious effort. It feels like my hormones have less control over me and my mind has kicked in where they left off.

    Anyone out there cold and bitter and incapable of anything related to love?

    Sometimes I do feel cold and bitter about it but not incapable. I do think love is this many splendored thing and that it’s mostly indescribable, amazing, just awesome and dreamy but I get down knowing that it’ll never be new and hot again, just comfortable. It’s a yawn-fest around here.

    How do I love?

    Self-sacrificially, all-encompassingly, unwaveringly, gratefully, stupidly…

    • http://panamaenrique.wordpress.com Malik

      *Looks at avatar*

    • Beef Bacon

      “It’s a yawn-fest around here.”

      That is sad. Is that really how you see you life right now? If you don’t mind me asking: how long have you been married?

      • Beef Bacon

        11 years…okay. I do understand, but I tend to think of that couple that has been married 20+ years (TLC channel I think) and work together daily and still love as if it was the honeymoon phase. That lets me know that it is very possible to keep the fire burning.

        • http://www.WisdomIsMisery.com @WisdomIsMisery

          Interesting. I'm not sure I believe much of anything I see on TV…
          My recent post First Draft: Maybe I Expect too Much From Love

        • krystllyght

          I’m probably making it sound worse than it actually is. I love him through and through. And I always feel his love for me but it’s complicated for me for some reason. I’m happy but somehow I’m not satisfied.

        • Most

          I think what you have to learn to accept is that marriage isn't naturally fun and exciting. In fact it is, biologically the opposite. As I said in my post, after awhile, it becomes nearly impossible for someone you've been with for a long time to stimulate your VTA and get you that dopamine fix you're craving.

          My recent post That Certain Something “Watch The Throne” is Missing

        • cynicaloptmst81

          Don't sleep on that, Krys…that not satisfied piece. Meditate on it, find the root, and pluck it out before it becomes a really HUGE problem. Be proactive and fix that now…and it can be fixed.

          Maybe you just need some "Krys Time" hobbies. Maybe you've both become complacent regarding your approach to each other and need to be more deliberate.

          Best of luck with this…and that's def a cool avi (no homo)!

        • GirlSixx

          You and Most are dropping some serious knowledge for Kryst today… I agree with everythang both of you are saying.

        • krystllyght

          Yeah Most I know but gosh. I feel too young to not be having an exciting life. I guess it’s just not what I expected.

        • Most

          "Have an affair, act like an adult for once."

          Just kidding. But you do need to find some way to make things a little more interesting. Being with someone in the beginning stages is fun without any effort. Once that passes, you guys have to go out of your way to keep the party going. Plan stuff. Travel. Keeping a marriage fun is a full time job.
          My recent post That Certain Something “Watch The Throne” is Missing

        • krystllyght

          Thanks CO. My Krys time is actually my gym time. I’ve found that if I miss too many gym visits my spirits get low. I do have a whole list of hobbies I want to pursue though. Now it’s just a matter of finding the time and money to do them. I think it’s important for people to maintain some of their individuality when they get hitched. Unfortunately, I wasn’t very good at doing that. In fact, I was really piss poor at it and that’s probably why I’m feeling some kind of way. I go through phases, it seems, of happiness and satisfaction and then the opposite. My husband hates how unpredictable it is.

        • GirlSixx

          " I think it's important for people to maintain some of their individuality when they get hitched."

          Yes it's extremly important. Just because you two are married that doesn't mean you have to be joined at the hip. It's okay to stlll have your own hobbies/interests.

        • http://www.WisdomIsMisery.com @WisdomIsMisery

          "My husband hates how unpredictable it is."

          Word? You mean being a woman?

          *dodges heels, pots and pans and dives in bunker*
          My recent post The Modern Man as Defined by Men

        • krystllyght

          Lmao Most you’re not funny! Actually I’ve been planning our first date since our daughter was born last year. I’m trying to make it something we’ve never done before, rock wall climbing or indoor sky diving and then to one of our favorite restaurants. I’m getting hung up though because I have to be dressed right for the first activity but then I want to look smoking hot for the dinner. It would take too much time to go back home in between. Am I trying to make it too perfect?

        • Most

          No, you're absolutely not trying to make it too perfect. That's great. Here's what you do – get someone to keep the baby over night and book you and the hubby a hotel room for the night. Take a half day off work, go check into the hotel room, bring with you the clothes you'll need for the first activity and then something sexy for dinner, and then something sexier for dessert.

          Then, when your husband gets off work, meet him where ever the first activity is to save time. Do that, but don't wear yourselves out. Then go back to the hotel room. Before you shower do something really hoeish and out of character to him. Then shower, get dressed up all fancy and go out to a good dinner. After dinner, go back to the hotel room and let nothing be off limits.

          Then both of you wait a solid 2 or 3 days before kissing your daughter.
          My recent post That Certain Something “Watch The Throne” is Missing

        • Muze

          that's an awesome suggestion.

          *takes notes*
          My recent post The Acquiescence

        • NinaFontaine

          YES!!! You are over thinking the entire thing – mind you I'm not married but I am a beast at planning dates LOL. The fact that you planned the thing makes you smoking hot – he's not going to be worried that your hair isn't perfect! Men???

        • Most

          Krys pay no attention to my good friend Nina.

          Put your hair back in a ponytail and wear a t-shirt with some tight leggings for the rock climbing. That way he can watch you in the harness on your way up.

          Wear an awesome dress, when you go out to dinner… something that's outside of the norm of the things you would typically wear. When you're changing into your dress, do something different with your hair. Get dolled up. He'll appreciate the totality of the detail you're putting into the whole evening, even if he doesn't notice them individually.

          My recent post That Certain Something “Watch The Throne” is Missing

        • http://48forpanache.blogspot.com 48.

          Many people think it's impossible to achieve that because not many are willing to put in the work that's necessary to keep things blazing. That good ol comfortable love has its downsides.

        • krystllyght

          Good suggestion Most! I’m cracking up at the hoeish and out of character bit. *scratches head* That’s something else I’ll have to figure out. I’ll have to look at some p0rn for research.

          “Then both of you wait a solid 2 or 3 days before kissing your daughter.”
          Lmao iDied!

        • krystllyght

          Thanks G6 and Nina. @Nina it IS hot that I’m planning this isn’t it? *pats self on back* I asked him what he wanted to do and he came up with the restaurant we’re going toso I gues I shouldn’t get all the credit.

          I see you WIM! *looks around for something to throw* *throws Vogue magazine (the September issue)*
          He actually said that to me though. “I don’t know which Krystal I’m gonna get.” I’m an Aries woman, it comes with the territory. I thought he liked that I’m unpredictable til he said that. I was like huh?

  • http://twitter.com/itztrizz617 herbetteroption (@itztrizz617)

    I love being loved. Its almost the ultimate feeling; i went from being just a stranger to being someone she cant live without. When i love, however,its almost hard to describe. I guess i can chalk it up to science because its almost unexplainable sometimes. I’ve fallen for female friends yet with some girlfriends i never did regardless how they felt about me.

  • chrissied87

    As much as I feel that it is a conscious decision we make to love someone, I would like to think we can’t truely fall out of love with that person once we love then. I would like to think love is permanent in that it doesn’t go away but changes, like energy can never be destroyed or created but transfered. The idea that love for someone will always be there regardless if your still with them is possibly a true testament that you have loved them and always

    will. Any thing else that may seem as love was actually just biological changes in our bodies that intensified our pleasure zones to the point of deception… Well its a thought.

    I am still learning about love though and what I found so far is that love should make you become a better you and that there are many definitions for love, we love different people differently and that it can be very overwhelming.

    • krystllyght

      “I would like to think love is permanent in that it doesn’t go away but changes.”
      I like this. I have a hard time believing that if something went down between my hubby and me, I could just stop loving him. I can’t imagine just turning my love off. And it’s funny I’m saying this because I said upwards that my love feels like a conscious effort right now but I know that if something went down it would take a conscious effort to not love him.

  • http://www.singleblackmale.org Symbiotic Loner

    “…Anyone out there cold and bitter and incapable of anything related to love? All are welcome here…”

    First, personally, I don’t find that “all” are welcome here, so I haven’t been saying much. (smile) Personal rule of behavior… (smile more…you don’t want to know) I vibe very differently with a totally different energy source than others of the human species from my experience. Therefore, my “view” of the concept of “love” is very different.

    Secondly, to “Slim Jackson”, although I won’t raise my hand to admitting to be cold and bitter through out the spectrum of my personality, I’ve been told that I am cold and bitter. Going by one sentence in the following blog, I apperently defy the odds…

    http://www.verysmartbrothas.com/the-bitter-man-bl

    (smile) Resistance continues…

    #Sub-Species of One

    • Seven

      I'd like to know what your view of the concept of love is…if you'd like to share?

      • http://www.singleblackmale.org Symbiotic Loner

        (raises eyebrow) Someone on this site is interested in my input? (typical reaction of blinking then shrugging) Very well…

        True love is a state of symbiosis… Of true existence… The need to feed hunger yet desiring to be fed… It is a verb within a noun… Unrestrained sharing of mutual existance, enhancing each and both through the bond to and with each other… Free acceptance of each–faults, strengths, fears, areas of confidence… The drive to connect…yet to be different while being connected

        • Most

          "First, personally, I don't find that "all" are welcome here, so I haven't been saying much. (smile) "

          "(raises eyebrow) Someone on this site is interested in my input? (typical reaction of blinking then shrugging) Very well…"

          Son, you my man, and I appreciate you dropping that Symbiotic knowledge and all that… but you mad emo right now tho… lol.

          ***Throws on some PM Dawn and asks Dr. J to pass me a Black and some matches so I can zone out while thinking of how to thoroughly respond to this comment.***

        • Seven

          Yes *smiling* I am interested in what you have to say, we all are valuable and can learn from one another even in times of disagreement.
          Thank you for your sharing your view Symbiotic Loner…

  • DeKeLa

    Thanks Most for stressing the hormonal role in love. Alot of people would like to downplay the crucial role that these chemicals play in your body and bringing these feeling of euphoria. No one is bigger than the chemistry in your body.

    SN: I'm not sure if it's because of the font or spacing. But it's a bit of fatigue to actually read the comments in entirety. Maybe it's just me.

    • Tash

      I agree…I find myself skimming alot more. I believe it's because the wrap-around of the lines are much longer…your eyes have to read farther to the right… and the Times New Roman font is also more taxing.
      However, I do prefer the style. A hybrid of the two could be a win!

      • KemaVA

        Yes! If the comment is longish I find myself skimming too.

  • QueenT

    Falling in love is beautiful..and I think that is where all of that oxytocin and dopamin comes into play….staying in love is the hard part….the fact is, that butterflies in the stomach feeling doesn't stick around but so long..then your love for a person deepens and grows..it becomes mature, like a fine wine…some people romantacize love too much..it's not really like that all the time…sometimes you can get to the point where you almost hate the person you love..it's a thin line between love and hate…that is no lie…but, love endures alot…..talk to some loving married couples who have been together for 20 or more years they will tell you some stories….you will wonder how they made it through…and the underlying theme throught it all is….Love and an unfaltering committment to one another regardless of circumstances……__How do I love? I love with my whole heart..it's true and it's fiercely loyal…when you experience a deep heartbreak tho…something changes in how you love….now I love smarter, if that even makes sense..lol..but, I think it is possible to love smart….you have to be really careful with your heart out there.__Good post MOS :-)

  • redlady821

    Interesting post Most. I had to see it through to the end to get the full impact of what you were saying. I have been with my husband for so long that I don't remember what it was like like to love other people any longer. I know that I have loved this man for a very long time and I still love him now the same way I loved him back when. I love his consistency, his warmth, his energy and the fact that he loves hard and knows no other way but to give everything 100%.

    I know that if anything ever happened to my marriage that I doubt I would ever re-marry. To me it's a 1 shot deal, and although I'm sure I could grow fond of another person, I doubt I could ever love this way again. So in essence, that's how I love.

    • krystllyght

      "I know that if anything ever happened to my marriage that I doubt I would ever re-marry. To me it's a 1 shot deal, and although I'm sure I could grow fond of another person, I doubt I could ever love this way again."
      Co-sign.

    • QueenT

      Redlady always come with the maturity and the realness……

  • Ms. Smart

    One of the keys of love being felt and given is cultural. Beyond all the chemicals (the nerd in me appreciated the explanation of love that included neurotransmitters), there's something to be said for understanding how you feel loved and how the person you're loving feels love. 'Insert references to Love Languages here.' A man may get frustrated because a woman doesn't recognize him rearranging his schedule to see her an extra hour as a sign of love. But this is because for the woman, she only recognizes that she's loved by the amount, not quality of time spent. She doesn't recognize love when it comes in the form of the man making himself uncomfortable to be with her an extra hour. She'll focus on him not being there eight hours straight.
    My recent post Village Members

  • NinaFontaine

    This is a great post Most!
    The science of it will seem to explain why someone would believe that they could be in love with more than one person at a time. I had a long arduous conversation with someone about this and the thought seemed so selfish to me.
    I love very easily because I work at the things that will increase chemical aspect that create those warm and fuzzy feelings. Although I love easily I am careful of whom I let in my space to love. Although I have feelings of love I will not express those or work at them until I am sure I am loved back. I can definitely recognize when I am being loved.

    Anyone out there cold and bitter and incapable of anything related to love? I am not now but I can admit there was a time in my life where I was. I was so didn't want any parts of love. In this I learned how to manipulate people into loving me, knowing I was incapable of loving them back. It was sad but true.

  • http://www.WisdomIsMisery.com @WisdomIsMisery

    Good post, Most. I think I have some similar difficulties but I also wonder if part of it is attributed to the limitations of being a man in that we tend to love logically, at least at first, rather than emotionally. That's often what I struggle with. I approach love from a logical standpoint so if I cant "figure things out" I usually dont move forward with my emotions or I can rationalize my way out of love.

    For example, if I can feel myself "falling" for a girl I have no business falling for I can logically talk myself out of it, an art which I have only improved upon over the years. I'm not saying this is a good thing but it is something I do from time to time. I guess that mean it's rare, for me, to naturally fall in love with someone. I usually make a conscious choice to do so then allow my emotions to go where they may.

    To Dr. J's point above, as a result, I do have to be careful about "falling out of love" too because sometimes I havent allowed the emotional foundation to be strong enough to supersede the logical one.

    • GirlSixx

      if I can feel myself "falling" for a girl I have no business falling for I can logically talk myself out of it, an art which I have only improved upon over the years.

      Would you call this LOVE then or INFATUATION?

      • http://www.WisdomIsMisery.com @WisdomIsMisery

        I wouldnt call it infatuation. I preemptively stop myself from falling in love if I dont want to be in love. Like I said Love, for me, is more of a logical then an emotional progression, unlike (most) women who seem to be more emotional then logical through their progression.

        Futher, even if I am in Love, I can still recognize the situation may not be in my best interest and walk away with the presumption that I'll be able to fall in Love again. I, however, dont believe in soul mates either so it's easier for me to reach this type of conclusion.
        My recent post First Draft: Maybe I Expect too Much From Love

    • prettykeety

      I kinda get this. I do have control over whether or not I allow myself to fall for a person. It never happens without my knowing. When I believe I'm comfortable enough with a person and believe that my feelings will be sufficiently reciprocated, only then do I let my guard down and essentially allow myself to fall in love.

      On the other hand, I can't just walk away as easily after I fall & realize it's not working. I've told every boyfriend beforehand that I hate relationships (and typically avoid them) because I can't handle the break-ups. The break ups take away much more of my energy than the relationships themselves.

  • http://www.facebook.com/MsFemmeFatale82 Mika

    For someone who hasn't been genuinely in love, I think I'm just a person that feels obligated to show love (the best way I know how) to people that fall in love with me or even just people I spend time with. My idea of showing love is just caring and being there for them.
    I've never learned how to genuinely be in love or accept love from someone else, I always thought that it came natural but I think I just mentally block it out because I'm afraid of what the consequences could be.

  • Ashley W.

    Great post, Most. Definitely some things to think about. I agree in thinking that love is for the most part beyond our human controls for if it is and we can turn it off then it’s not really love but it’s sneaky little sister infatuation. I was taking this class abroad last year and my professor said, “He reminds you of you that’s why you love him.” This changed my life and outlook on love entirely. It caused me to reflect on why I love or dislike people and it is really all about you. When you love things in you and you find them in someone else that’s self reflection and I realized that I couldn’t hate him because in so many ways I could see me in him. And the things we hate about people we first hate in ourselves…I.e I despise liars= I don’t like to lie to people first. So as cliche as the saying is, “You can’t love anyone until you love you.” It’s true. Love is a powerful self-mirroring/reflection and you do have to be it in order to feel it.

    Gladly I haven’t the chance to feel bitter and I hope I never am. Something inside of me just refuses to allow someone else’s choice to cheat myself out of my own happiness. I’m not selling bitterness so I can get it back… I let karma take care of that. I’m the happiness/productivity that I want to sew in my world and I let karma and life take care of getting it back to me when it’s supposed to even though I’d like to control it myself sometimes.

    • http://twitter.com/ashleydoublevay @ashleydoublevay

      my grammar mistake its* sneaky little siter. Life truly does give us exactly what we put into it. So change your bitter ways today ladies and gentleman it ain't cute and your face is telling the people too.

  • http://twitter.com/KatWebb84 @KatWebb84

    "Look, I realize there are many other factors that can override the impact of hormones – particularly things like culture, social constructs and societal expectations – but biologically, it’s that simple."

    I believe this post is enlightening on the part of MOST women (not all), but I believe, given the rise of casual sex, and the way most men do it with such ease, that it would be more helpful, for me at least, if it went more into these "other factors".

    I'm curious about three things:

    1.) For the men that are receiving great sex with many women, do they actually feel "love" and suppress it, or do they never actually get that feeling?

    2.) For men that DO feel love and suppress it, why?

    3.) In general, it appears men are better at avoiding "love". Is it possible these hormones are stronger in women, or is societal pressure on men stronger so that they are forced to suppress it.

    And finally, because it's possible to "override" these feelings at all, I don't believe love is involuntary at all. If you somehow can get around the effect of these hormones, then you are ACTIVELY choosing not to love and that is a choice. Likewise, you can choose to allow them to affect you.

    I, however, am not one of those people. When the hormones get me, they get me, and I'm a goner.

    • http://www.singleblackmale.org Symbiotic Loner

      I can only answer for myselt…

      1.) For the men that are receiving great sex with many women, do they actually feel "love" and suppress it, or do they never actually get that feeling?

      In my "free roaming" days, I never expected to receive love from my "many women" since it was clear that I was only "an organic dildo" from most and that I was as expendable as all other black men to others

      2.) For men that DO feel love and suppress it, why?

      It's been my experience that no woman I've encountered can handle the full intensity of love from me…so I hold back… (shrug) If I don't redirect "the love energy" all together… (smile) Yet I await to unleash that energy…

      3.) In general, it appears men are better at avoiding "love". Is it possible these hormones are stronger in women, or is societal pressure on men stronger so that they are forced to suppress it.

      I don't avoid love; I've learned to just not expect true love from a woman…. (smile) Yet I await to be proven wrong…

    • http://www.singleblackmale.org Symbiotic Loner

      First of all, I don't understand why my first response to you was not posted… Anyway, I must be myself…

      1.) For the men that are receiving great sex with many women, do they actually feel "love" and suppress it, or do they never actually get that feeling? In my "free-roaming" days, I resisted feeling love since most of the "many women" of my experience saw me as "an organic dildo" while some of the other "many women" of my experience saw me as expendable as all black men in their realm
      My recent post How Do You Love?

    • http://www.singleblackmale.org Symbiotic Loner

      2.) For men that DO feel love and suppress it, why? Each of the women of my experience could not handle the intensity of the love I gave toward them. So I held back

      3.) In general, it appears men are better at avoiding "love". Is it possible these hormones are stronger in women, or is societal pressure on men stronger so that they are forced to suppress it. I don't avoid love; I've just learned to not expect it from a woman. (Smile) Awaiting to be proven wrong, though…
      My recent post How Do You Love?

  • Cheekie

    "Yes I do … but be loved… that's something else."

    Hmm, this was a pretty poignant statement… and probably pretty close to the way I am. When I love someone, I love pretty hard and with all my heart. But, out of self-preservation, I sometimes make it hard for someone to love me… to get too close to me. Then again, try as I might… you can't really control when and how someone falls for you. I've learned that the hard way. lol I've noticed guys have fallen for me in the most surprising and random circumstances.

    And I definitely believe in the "science" of love being uncontrollable. You can look up and love has hit you with the hee. In fact, I believe all emotions are this way. You can't control the sheer feeling of emotions, just the way you express them.

  • WAChick

    Off topic, but Most, you kinda favor Joe Budden in your avatar… at least to me. lol

    • Most

      3rd time I've gotten this. Is he attractive. Like minus the sometimes douchey emo-ness he exudes?
      My recent post That Certain Something “Watch The Throne” is Missing

      • NinaFontaine

        Yes he is attractive looking LOL

        • http://twitter.com/MsDulceDeLeche @MsDulceDeLeche

          Someone trying to bag! LMAOOOO J/K but @nina might be onto something!

      • krystllyght

        This might be a weird compliment. I had to go google him because I didn’t know what he looked like but he’s easy on the eyes and you do look like him but your beard is better than his.

  • http://twitter.com/MsDulceDeLeche @MsDulceDeLeche

    It is important to acknowledge that some people confuse love and lust (Being dck/Pu$$y whipped). And in doing so, they see love in a different light. When In reality they are not experiencing love at all.

    • NinaFontaine

      so true!

    • GirlSixx

      Truth!!

  • Hugh Jazz

    Is your love the result of conscious effort, or is it something completely beyond your control? Both. Certainly hormones affect what we do and feel, however they can only give urges. You can be aroused by seeing a good-looking person and be attracted, but ultimately our minds have to decide what we do with those feelings and urges. There have been studies that show how the mind can actually remodel the brain, and in turn our physical bodies and our natural reaction to stimuli. This has been shown in physical rehabilitation and in chemical dependency. Because of this, I have difficulty believing we are slaves to our hormones. After all, our brain is the organ that decides what hormones get secreted, so it makes sense to be that our minds can overpower our hormones. Of course, I'm no neuroscientist, so my opinion on this is given with a grain of salt.

  • http://www.twitter.com/mikasthoughts MikasThoughts

    “This may not get you down the aisle – but you’ll at least have access to more of him than any other woman he’s ever known – on your own terms – for as long as you desire”.

    Yikes! I feel some type of way about that.

    • http://twitter.com/ashleydoublevay @ashleydoublevay

      Yes, me too! And it's not in a good way. Like what is the point if you can't get him down the aisle and why can't you if you have all this access? Hmmm…

  • Bitter 101

    I guess I can raise my hand and say that I'm cold and bitter. It has taken years and many different tramatic situations to get here but I am in fact here. My brain has subconsciously shut off those transmitters. I beleive that my brain is trying to protect me from all the things that have gone on thru out my life concerning men and has said that I can take anymore so lets turn it off. I have even tried to make myself feel a longing for love but there is just empty hollow space there.

    • Most

      I have a certain understanding and appreciation for what you're going through. What I would say to you is this – if you do not want to feel this way anymore – the best thing you can do is seek professional help. I don't mean this to say you're crazy or anything like that, but I know that when there's significant damage done to this part of a person, it doesn't just heal itself.

      Thanks for sharing – truly appreciated.
      My recent post That Certain Something “Watch The Throne” is Missing

    • Starita34

      I’m so sorry to hear that. Take some time to heal, it’s normal to need some mourning time-and like Most suggested, talk to someone. It’s amazing what our hearts and bodies are capable of, you’ll be forever changed, but you’ll be stronger on the other side.

  • 2 Sacks, 3 TFLs, 4 Tackles, 10 Pancake and a deflected pass Peyso

    Love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud. That’s all i have to say about love.

    Signing off. 42-0

  • http://twitter.com/ashleydoublevay @ashleydoublevay

    I also believe we only get one great love, maybe two …but that's rare (i.e. Dr. J's A Man Has Only One Chance at True Love). “What we have is a great love. It’s complicated, intense, all-consuming. No matter what we do and how much we fight it’ll always pull us in. What’s mere happiness in the face of all of that, right?” Especially when it's with someone else… there's always a lacking and while as time goes on we will fill and it'll feel less like a void it's always around.

  • http://48forpanache.blogspot.com 48.

    My idea of love/being in love is considered 'naive' in that it's radically optimistic and trusting and vulnerable and humble and selfless but it's also pure and very grounded in reality. This is how I love.

    How do I choose whom to love?

    emotional intelligence makes it hard for me to subscribe to the 'you can't choose whom to love' or 'the heart wants what it wants' schools of thought. Having understood the biology behind infatuation for a while now, i find myself incapable of making any serious decisions based on how a person makes me feel; more importantly, I don't fall in love(or form attachments) based on how someone makes me feel because (a) those chemical reactions will last at most 2 years (b) they can be recreated with someone else. The more self-aware I become, the more I'm like 'OK, what else man?' :-D

  • cynicaloptmst81

    For me, love must be organic. I have too much going on…too many commitments…to have to worry about "thinking" about how I'm gonna love someone. We either have it or we don't. I don't mind working to make sure we're spending good, effective QT together…and we'll have to work through issues. But, I do mind forcing affection. My face is too honest to think I'd fool anybody, lol…dude would know I wasn't pressed.

    The hardest thing I had to learn about myself is that it's easy for me to fall in love with dudes I really click with. I have to literally force myself to takes things slow and make sure that I'm only falling for dudes that I can remain in love with.

  • GirlSixx

    "Anyone out there cold and bitter and incapable of anything related to love"

    Okay — I'm just gonna go ahead and cop to a certain extent of this. I'm not bitter or cold but I've come to realize a few things about myself and one of them being — that I am not capable of falling in love easily but I can get infatuated rather quickly in which it can fall under the guise of me being in love.

    Do I think this is normal? Maybe – Maybe Not. But I do know what love is though.

    Good Post Most.

  • http://twitter.com/bruiser_ham Larry

    Great post, Most. I have nothing really more to add here…good write up!

  • NinaFontaine

    *Admin Note* I guess if I wanted to be in NY for the happy hour next week my frequent flyers miles needed to be on deck to cover the expense because 1 week notice flight to NYC from ATL is not the business on the trip funds.
    No I'm not bitter …….. ok maybe a little LOL

  • nowsayitwithme

    This was a nice read. I don't understand love yet so *shrug* so I dunno. Been trying to figure this ish out for some years. But um, sidenote: what's with the new commentary format? Might be the best one yet…

  • nowsayitwithme

    Oh and what is this 35p next to my name?

    • http://www.therealslimjackson.com Slim Jackson

      I may do a separate note for those who don't see this, but that # next to your name is a credibility rating of sorts. As people like and dislike your comments, that number will fluctuate. Also, if you have your own site and put the url, that commentluv feature you see will automatically pull your most recent post or whichever one you select and drop it at the bottom of your comment.
      My recent post A Few More Lessons Learned From Writing

  • Muze

    this is an excellent post.

    i Love deeply for the most part. the problem is, i Love on a global scale more so, so close, intimate relationships tend to be unorthodox, in how i express it. while i may feel it, it is SO difficult to express it in the way others may want/expect me to. i can write you a poem, a song, a story, a letter, perhaps paint you something… but trying to verbally express exactly how i feel renders me near mentally handicapped. a blank canvas. the words (or right words i suppose) simply don't come. i look and sound both stupid and insincere. lol. my brain is much too logical for off-the-cuff emotional expressions, unless they're artistic. womp.

    i've been the "dude" in most of my relationships. indifferent most times, but i've learned to be more outwardly expressive in intimacy as i get older, and although it's difficult at times, it does contribute to the greater good in the long run.

    Kanye summed it up nicely on "Runaway" :

    Never was much of a romantic
    I could never take the intimacy
    And I know it did damage
    ‘Cause the look in your eyes is killin’ me
    I’m guessin’ you’re at an advantage
    ‘Cause you could blame me for everything…

    My recent post The Acquiescence

  • Euphoric Ears

    Dope post Most! I don't have anything insightful or witty to contribute at the moment.

  • Teflon Mom

    Well, I don't think I would describe myself as cold and bitter, but it takes a lot for my hormones and such to release those love feelings. Prior to my husband I was never really in love – I experienced lust, and frustration and such, but never love. That's why I never cried over an ex, I just didn't feel enough for them. I knew that I loved myself, lol. Now, I definitely feel love for my man and for our kids – you ain't kiddin' about that connection that comes with childbirth. But because I don't have experience with love and heartache in my past I wonder how I would handle it if it came up now. All I can say is that it wouldn't be pretty.

  • http://www.twitter.com/Top5DOA Top5DOA

    I've had this conversation in length, but more so in reference to how i've never been In Love … it's seems like a distant, fleeting feeling that is not only scary, but also very intriguing. I want a woman to demand these feelings (biological and not) come up out of me.
    My heart will flutter from time to time, but over time it just grows cold. My feelings are so superficial and volatile that they don't allow enough heart into the equation cuz it's all brain.

    I have a problem.

    My R&B tracks are all fiction … I don' t know LOVE, i'm lost without you …. Yeeeee *idea for next single*

    It's weird tho cuz all i've been listening to lately is Neo-Soul and love/relationship based Hip-Hop music. I need help.

    #NP Stevie Wonder – Lookin' For Another Pure Love

    • krystllyght

      *hugs Top*

      • http://www.twitter.com/Top5DOA Top5DOA

        *Attempts to cry on shoulder* ………………. Fails

        • krystllyght

          Aw woo woo woo

  • amara

    I love this post:) it's brought me out of lurking.

    Even coming from a medical background I've never looked at love mechanistically. It's the all or nothing rule, the whole-different-from-sum-of-parts thing…Love can't be conceptualised (even biologically) as the total of all the hormones/ neurotransmitters released from nerve cells that give you warm feelings.

    Because once a threshold is reached and enough dopamine/oxytocin builds up, love – the love feeling – stops being about hormone release or non release…the complexity of the emotion we feel drastically increases because it's become about positive feedback, about how the feelings we experience are being reinforced by what a million other nerve cells are simultaneously doing and how they work together or antagonise each other.

    The human brain is so complex, and beautiful that…I've never felt able to limit love to sparks and sensations i can't control, or to actions or conscious decisions that I can. My take on love is holistic, if slightly inadequate.
    …keep writing and i'll keep 'co – signing' happily from england!:)

    • krystllyght

      Welcome! What you said here is cool. Don’t go back to Lurkland okay!

  • bellatrice1

    I think sometimes we choose who we love and sometimes we don't. I think, at first, I can hold off on loving someone, but if they're doing, saying and being what I need, it's hard not to fall. So, I guess it can be a choice, but at times, it can also be involuntary.

    I can't help loving because I just love people with the love of God first. I can't NOT be this way…I've tried. So, if I'm dating someone, I automatically love them to a certain extent, as a person. But, falling in love is a process and takes time and experiences, for me. I love hard, and oddly, I have not yet become bitter and cold. I still take each experience as a new one and treat each person as though I've never been in love or hurt before. I just firgure if it didn't work out, there's someone 10x better for me out there and I can't WAIT to meet him!
    My recent post Street Etiquette: Fashion and the Heterosexual Male

  • naya

    I love this post:) it’s brought me out of lurking.

    Inspite of my (fledgling) medical background I’ve never looked at love mechanistically. It’s the all or nothing rule, the whole-greater-than-sum-of-parts thing. Love can’t be conceptualised as the total of all the hormones or neurotransmitters released from nerve cells that give you ‘love-like’ feelings.

    Because once a threshold is reached and enough dopamine/oxytocin builds up, love (or the feeling of love) stops being about release or non release…the complexity of the emotion we feel drastically increases because it’s now become about positive feedback, the ‘feelings’ we experience are reinforced by what a million other nerve cells are simultaneously doing and how they work together or antagonise each other.

    The human brain is complex, and beautiful – so are we. I’ve never felt able to limit love to sparks and sensations i can’t control, or to actions or conscious decisions that I can. My opinion of love is..holistic. If inadequate.

    ..I know I have a lot to learn.

    keep writing and i’ll keep ‘co – signing’ quietly from england!:)

    • amara_love

      oops, accidentally hit the refresh button lol

  • http://musicmakesmehigh.wordpress.com Reecie

    late to the party but Queen T said it best for me:

    “How do I love? I love with my whole heart..it’s true and it’s fiercely loyal…when you experience a deep heartbreak tho…something changes in how you love”

    I’m still trying to figure out how to articulate the change, and hoping to not ever become bitter. But I’ve been close, I won’t even lie about it.

  • Streetz

    This was an excellent Most Post!

    What's funny is I've asked myself these same questions? Is what I feel love or enfatuation? Does lust supercede love in my hierarchy of feelings? Why can emotions flip from A to Z in the most non bi polar way I can describe?

    Emotions in men are more complex than we would want you to believe. I think the balance lies in external non biological factors, such as culture, respect, morality, empathy, etc. These are what gives us the full love spectrum in physical and mental.
    My recent post [VIDEO] Z! True Long Island Story Episode 27

  • prettykeety

    I love this post. I can't contribute because I just can't come up with the words. The "love" subject is just too much for me, and it's so far out of my comfort zone. But I think you did a great job of trying to rationalize something that I can't ever seem to do.

  • Clint B

    I have to say I love hard… I give all the love I have to give…

  • Starita34

    Ok, it’s too late for me to get through all these comments tonight, but let me just say this. I subscribe to “love is a decision of the heart and a commitment of the mind” ~ MyDaddy

    I can’t deny the physical takeover seized upon my body when in the presence of men that I have loved, but my body has “loved” men that my mind would never concede control over to, we’re wonderfully made and are to use every weapon in our arsenal. The physical components are important to understand and I’m glad you touched on them Most, so many times it seems as though they are glossed over as not real factors. Particularly since you don’t relate to the “high”feelings associated with love, it’s good to know that you still can acknowledge them.

    How do I love? That remains to be seen in entirety. I’ve loved two men, I still love them, but because life does whatever the eff life wants to do, these men aren’t romantic leads in my life anymore at the very least they shouldn’t be, so I can’t exactly say I’ve gotten it right…I wouldn’t say that I’m cold by any means; but I am changed. Forever. Spoiled even. I feel like I’ve seen how wonderful and perfectly suited a man can be and anything less now has so little appeal…I’ve had heroin, I can’t go back to clove cigarettes.

  • theworldoftiffany

    I love in a very genuine and specific way. I have been in love a couple of times and neither of them was the same way. I am very sincere in the way I love. I love the way I want someone to love me: with a full heart, sincere intentions, an honest and loyal perspective and genuine joy…haven't found it yet.

  • Share my Sonshine

    Firstly great post!!! I can admit i'm a little cold ( not bitter though). I learned early to master my emotions or as you put it, "I am one of those rare people whose brain has repressed its ability to allow others to influence my production of estrogen, dopamine and oxytocin at the same rates as everyone else". Often times I find that people tend to get discouraged because while they are free falling into this sea of love, I tend to inch in one limb at a time…. There are time when I wish I would just let biology take its natural course but i'm to much of a control freak for that

  • Vee

    Love is different for everyone. What someone else calls love isn't love to me. I personally don't think it's possible to know if you really love someone after two weeks. Love at first sight? That's the dopamine talking. People sometimes fail to realize that even a year of being together isn't necessarily enough to know if you love someone. Certainly you can never say you'll love someone forever, because you can't possibly know that. We've all just bought into this romantic nonsense about love being "forever". Love dies if you don't nurture it. Those bonds, that emotional glue you get from orgasms and whatever, it will die if you don't feed it. If the last time you had a feeling creating "glue" was three years ago, and I'm not just talking about sex here, your relationship is doomed. There needs to be something that your spouse does that creates that warm fuzzy feeling inside you. Too often we don't express our needs, what we lack, and what the other could do to make it better, and that's when relationships start to crumble. That's how men or women leave their spouse of 30 years without warning. So love… Love is great. But love is a lot of work too.

  • http://Justlissen.wordpress.com JustLissen

    @Most, this was a great post and I had to let my thoughts marinate before I commented in order not to be all in my emotions!
    You and @Slim asked whether any reader would admit to being tired and jaded or cold and bitter. My answer would be yes with many elements of no. It’s gets tiring to be such an open hearted person, to let people in, to continuously give love and not receive it in return. But I’m not jaded enough to close my heart off andnever love again or believe that there is t a love out there for me. *shrugs* but I’m a Pisces so this is my nature.
    *sigh* Then again how do you love someone partially? I agree with @DrJay’s assessment of his love. My love too is owhelming. And it comes in like a flood. I wake up one day and my strong thoughts of like turn into this sea of love… Be careful, if you don’t have a lifevest it can down you.
    I think the coldness and bitterness comes when you’ve explored all the opportunities with the other person, to the point where your both stagnant. My favorite line from Love Jone whe Lorenz Tate is is with his friends at the club: when people say the love is gone, it really isn’t, you’ve just exhausted the possibilities.
    Honestly, I want a man who’s loyal in love and consistent in his efforts. The Parisian flame of romance will only last so long, so what’s going to sustain the relationship for the years to come? And so like @WIM I can sill walk away. I’m still in love, but I love myself just a little more.
    *sigh* good post!

  • Pingback: Make you feel my love « The Soundtrack of My Life

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