The Art of Intimate Relationships

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I found information by an Anthropologist names Helen Fisher who spent the last 30 years researching love and intimate relationships. Her findings suggest the evolutionary background for love of another starts with a drive to feed ones sexual appetite, then the dopamine and serotonin changes in the brain help build a connection with another, and if the connection is reciprocal the brain has mechanisms of keeping these feelings novel and interesting. A common issue with our nuclear family idealism in America is we assume relationships are monogamous when evidence suggests our brains are capable of having the same connection with multiple people. On the bright side of things, Fisher expects divorce rates to decline due to our increasing age of marriage (studies show as couple age, divorce rates decline). Another interesting topic she presents is anti-depressants and love. Fisher explains that long-term anti-depressant use will affect dopamine and serotonin levels enough to hold back the ability to create an intimate connection and to keep that connection going in a relationship. This isn't to say she is against anti-depressants, just as long as they are short-term. I think intimate relationships are a fascinating subject because everyone at some point looks for love, but not one person goes about finding love in the exact same fashion as another. I think by finding universality, we are getting farther from understanding love because relationships are subjective, not mathematics.


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It seems like it is a common theme in psychology to have things based off of sexual appetite or frustration. I found it interesting that we can make the same connection with multiple people. I guess that this could be part of how we evolved. It was also interesting that antidepressants can make forming intimate connections difficult. Did it ever say what she considered short-term?

It isn't all that shocking to me that relationships are a big part psychological focus because they are so complex and it engages your brain in ways many other activities cannot. One interesting thing that stuck out to me when reading this was the part about relationships being monogamous which can be a problem when you feel the same way towards someone else because from most of my understanding nearly all other species of animals on earth are not monogamous in their relationships.

zind0018 - Fisher used long-term in one example from the age of 13 to 21 still continuing the usage. For short-term I would imagine its for less than a year to recover from depression or a traumatic experience.

I agree with the above comments about being monogamous and the fact that its naturally difficult to do since you can be attracted to multiple people at once. this whole article makes me have less belief in soul mates, since it promotes the idea of building a connection to a person. It does not surprise me that anti-depressants make it more difficult to build these connections. With anti-depressants you probably have difficulty with most emotions, making it impossible to be intimate with someone you like.

I agree with the article, when it says that people are not necessarily monogamous. You can find a lot of human behavior by looking at how animals behave. The higher up the food chain the more effort the parents put into sticking together. This isn't always necessarily true, but is a good guide line for looking at it. Animals usually don't stick with one mate all the way through their life, usually only long enough to make babies.

It's weird how all basic instinct in animals points to reproducing the best babies, prolonging themselves in the "survival of the fittest". If you look at people in the same way, in theory we shouldn't stick around longer than making a few babies.

That's really interesting that there have been studies that shows that we can be passionately in love with multiple people at once. I am curious as to how they figured this out but I found that really interesting!

This is a super interesting entry! Right now, I am in a biology of sex class and we have talked about monogamy in humans. Something that I find interesting is that we weren't really created to be monogamous and technically, the majority of us aren't because we have had multiple sexual sexual partners over the course of our lives (even if the majority of that time is spent with one person). I agree with you, intimate relationships are very interesting!

awesome find. I really enjoyed listening to her lecture. I love hearing about love and intimacy from a neuroscience perspective because they treat it like it's a drug addiction, and it is. It's fun to step outside yourself and take a look at the root chemical causes of your feelings, and although we might not be able to come up with a formula that X + Y = love, I still enjoy hearing how the chemicals in the brain alter our perceptions of the world around us.

I think that in the United States, we place too much pressure upon intimate relationships and staying monogamous. We are obviously not wired to stay with someone for the rest of our lives; however, society continues to enforce these norms. On the other hand, I can see how monogamy is beneficial for procreating and keeping the children in a stable home environment. It is an interesting debate.

I have to admit topics like this interest me a lot and I find it fascinating. The video is really good too, I like how she explains everything. I guess I never thought about all the things that could affect and are a part of love. I guess its a good thing we can make connections with several people because not all relationships end up working out so you need to move on and meet other people who you have connections with. I like how she said men and women are like two feet that need each other to move on.

I wish that more people our age would read into things like this. I know students at the U that are freshman and sophomores that are already getting married or engaged! When reading this, the one thing that really popped out was divorce rates decreasing in relation to marriage age increasing. I think that people should definitely hold out on marriage. What's the rush, right? If you can't spend a few extra years waiting to marry someone you love, than how are you expected to spend your life with them?

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This page contains a single entry by perre066 published on April 8, 2012 2:24 PM.

Girls are Bad at Math. How Studies with this Conclusion May be Methodologically Flawed. was the previous entry in this blog.

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