The Chemistry of Soulmates
Love is a drug, literally. And where there are drugs, there are always addicts. Harvard scientist Katherine Wu classifies love into three categories: Lust, attraction and attachment. Each stage has a hormone-like testosterone or dopamine attached to the corresponding phase of love. There is a chemical reaction to falling in love, so the high is akin to snorting an 8-ball of cocaine. But buyer beware: Where there is a high, there is also a crash. When it comes to real love, you need a little timing, a little luck and you need to make a lot of good choices. The lust cycle is fleeting. Intense, cosmic love has a two-to-seven-year chemical lifespan, according to multiple scientific research studies. Bummer. Attraction will ultimately fade if it’s not built on the foundation of something deeper and more substantial. Although we can “lust” for someone we are “attracted” to, it is impossible to lust for someone who you find repugnant. Attachment is when that love evolves past the lust and attraction phases and becomes permanent. Many cultures have different words and phrases to represent this journey to finding everlasting love. Two of my favorites are derived from my husband’s and my own heritages. Maktub means, “it is written” in Arabic. “Bashert” is the Hebrew word that translates to “destiny,” the journey to find one’s soulmate. But what if what is written never leads you to finding your eternal Bashert? Another bummer. My heart feels compassion for people who are on a quest for their life partner. I will punch the next person who offers up that tired cliché: “You need to love yourself first. Once you accept being alone, then you can find your everlasting life partner.” Sometimes, the most fantastic people are unlucky in love. And for someone to say that ALL the unmarrieds need to sit on Freud’s couch to identify an internal self-love flaw is unfair. The singles are no different than the marrieds in terms of having their emotional shit together. People dispense that pop-psychology meaningless advice like they just earned their Ph.D. in psychotherapy. What about all the miserably annoying and needy people who are coupled? Did they take Ayahuasca with a Shaman in Peru to become totally at peace being alone before plunging into matrimony? Sometimes people are searching for an ideal partner, and by definition “ideal” is something so perfect that it is never to be found. When a dude hits 40 and is unmarried, women think he is a commitment fearful pillow-humper who is addicted to watching Pornhub. Or, maybe, they want the “filet” more than the “halibut,” always searching for that perfect physical “10” and landing the personality and character of a “3.” When a woman hits 40 and is unmarried, well…..nothing more needs to be said, because they are perfect. True love is being with the person you can be your authentic self with, and they don’t spend a lifetime trying to change you. Some people simply are happier going at life solo, because listening to a lecturing vegan when you are craving ice cream and a burger is not a formula for long-term relationship success. I applaud those who found that remaining single is better than being mismatched with a partner who is lights-out-and-under-the-covers when they like to get kinky. If you’re a freak in bed, and your partner hungers for Bible study, the marriage is not going to work. Something we are all familiar with during this time of COVID-19 is your “mask” cannot stay on forever or you will suffocate. The greatest thing about true love is you get to be the real you, and the right partner will be entertained by your shortcomings. Divorce would certainly be reduced if people were honest, instead of panicking in their late 20s to marry what looks good on paper because it’s “time” to push out babies. Smart people can’t jam the pieces of the puzzle together when they really don’t fit. Upwards of 50 percent of us get it wrong and end up divorced. We’ve all dined with that lusty new couple tongue-raping each other at the dinner table, while you smile and look uncomfortably down at your lasagna. The grope-walk to the car, hands embraced, occasionally dry humping as they amble. Fifty photos are posted on social media loudly proclaiming their undying love. And “friends” are taking over/under bets how long this relationship will last. They are divorced again in one year. When it comes to love, are you a fatalist? Do you believe in manifesting one’s future, or is it a combination of both? I always believe in a little magic. Each soul has an inclination to find another soul. An irresistible gravitational pull that makes two into the “one. ” Attachment is a long-term relationship that is based on the foundation of being best friends. And if you are the rare couple that hits the love lottery, then life is so much easier when you tackle draining customer service woes, taxing work obstacles and pesky family drama together as one dynamic unit. It’s also fantastic to have someone give you a healing neck rub while listening to you whine, even when you know you're being stupid. An extraordinary partner gives you confidence and watches you evolve. In my marriage, the love formula worked in the reverse: Friendship, attraction and then lust. Not everyone’s journey is the same. Attachment cultivates a higher plane. Intimacy: the most spectacular gift the universe offered mankind. Maktub. It is written, but not always the way you expected. My wish for everyone is to be loved.