The Butterfly Fallacy: How stomach butterflies will get you caught up
We all know the feeling.
At the start, you can’t quit identify it. Maybe you can’t stop laughing off their joke. Maybe it’s a connection over Botswanian folk music, which NO ONE else listens to. Maybe it was how they flicked their head and the light hit their hair in the right way. You know something feels different and you know this person caused it.
It goes by many names. “Butterflies in the stomach”. “Chemistry”. “That special feeling”. It’s the signal your body gives you that this person is special and could be the one … right?
I mean really … no. It’s not!
Using “butterflies in the stomach” as a sign of future relationship success is like like saying “Man, that hit off this crack pipe was amazing. I’m sure this is going to lead to a great long-term relationship with me and the pipe.”
**disclaimer: I’ve never smoked crack myself … but I am from DC**
The truth is, the temporary sensation you get is a chemical reaction. There are hormones and pheromones to make our brains feel a certain way. It’s a biological survival instinct. People have to mate. Mating is a one time thing that happens and produces babies. This feeling makes sure humans mate. It’s evolution … not a way to find a future spouse.
This is coming from someone hitting year 4 in his happy marriage after being reformed. I’m not making this up.
So, figured it was time to share a few tips to get over the “butterfly feeling”. My hope is I give at least one person a better way to find a long-term mate … compared to this outdated and poor tactic running rampant in these streets.
Go beyond the first date
I hear this all the time: “I get everything I need from the first date. If I’m not feeling them, it will never work!”
And I’m like …
First dates are often misleading. They could be nervous, going through some bloating issues, or just hungover. I’ll assume you have had more than one conversation with this person prior. So, I say at least 2 dates before dismissing someone.
This of course can be ignored if they drop the fact they just came from court after beating their mom within an inch of their life. There are real dealbreakers which can come up on day one, but “I’m just not feeling it” isn’t a real one.
And just to drop a personal anecdote, the first date with my wife wasn’t love at first site. It was OK … and just OK. But, that second date … that was the truth. To this day I wonder what would have happened if I didn’t give it one more shot.
Don’t skip calm stability for exciting ups & downs
Stability isn’t exciting. It might not lead to the uncontrollable desire to be around someone 24/7, the constant yearning when they are away, or the anxious excitement all the time. BUT … real long-term relationships aren’t filled with crackhead-like feening.
I’ve always say “being with the right person is like being at home”.
Being at home feels good. When you are at home, you just feel comfortable. You don’t think about your home until you are gone from it, but it’s just bringing consistent enjoyment to your life. Butterflies are a temporary enhancement which comes and goes, but might not lead you to a life of happiness.
Think … don’t just feel
I know … love is something you “feel”. You know it when it’s there. You can’t describe it, but you know it when it happens.
I’m not saying this isn’t true, but using your brain, in addition to your heart, leads to better decisions. Following your heart is the #2 leading cause of cheating (yoga pants is #1). While the mind can take into account all the good and all the bad and lead you to the right long term decisions, you’re heart (along with Henny shots and your loins) is the one leading you to decisions like going home with all that sexiness while BAE is out of town.
For everyone out there still searching for the drunk in love feeling, remember what happened last time you sobered up. If you’re out here to win it … go for the championship ring and not just a good week.
– SBM aka Sean Blackman