Let's talk about feelings and how to find the happy ever after
Welcome to psychology break!
We have seen so far, the complexity of human beings, the social influence, the physical body, and somehow, the function of the brain; we learn a bit about the unconscious mind, and the conscious one. Now, lets talk about feelings.
Feelings and emotions are what we experience in our heart and soul, and sometimes so difficult to explain or to understand. We have experienced, fear, anger, hate, anxiety, frustration, sadness, love, motivation, happiness, passion, uncertainty, amongst others, and are also influenced by society, the body has a response in them, as well as the brain and hormones act in it and somehow we can perceive them consciously or we don´t understand them because there are unconscious determinants we don´t really understand.
Socially, depending on each culture, feelings are modeled differently as we can see in tribes or big cities; love and caring, anger and fear are treated differently, just to mention very little examples.
The physical body is completely engaged in these feelings, as we can experience with anxiety, the heart rhythm is faster, we sweat, or with happiness, we feel light, our face expression changes, etc.
In the brain, people in love activate the ventral segmental area, an ti is in the rewarding system, below emotions, it is in the inner part of it, also called the reptilian core of the brain… lets call it the primal brain. Humans and animals we share the same system! The difference is that humans have the cortical brain which allow us to make conscious thinking and planning in a more complex way than animals do.
Now let´s talk about love….. Oh, such a big feeling!
For love we dance, create, sing, tell stories, we fight for love, wish love, look for love, break for love….
Love has different colors, parent love, friend love, animal love, siblings love, mother and father love, and of course, the romantic love. Anthropologist have found that there is no society that has no romantic love. It is one of the most powerful feeling on earth!
We have all been is search for the proper mate, right? I takes a lot of risk, could be a huge gain or a huge loss. Romantic love moves us with the most energetic power ever.
When I started studying psychology I found that adolescence is a crucial time, among other things, because it´s when romantic love starts to be major in development and in the future lives. Is when our identity starts to be shaped, and of course the time to knowing about our preferences in type of mates, personalities, looks, wishes, etc. We start practicing flirting, we have our first significant partner and we keep searching and practicing and fall in love with passion, are dumped, or dump partners, and there we shape ourselves and our preferences, of course with joy and pain.
Then the beautiful 20´s arrive, crucial time for future adulthood and we should be prepared with responsibility to pick or choose the partner you want.
So what does it mean to choose the perfect mate? Is it the one that chooses me? the one that thinks I am hot and beautiful, and intelligent and bright? Is it the one who perform a better intimacy?
Who has money? Who belongs to a good family? Who has a college degree?
So I suggest you to write what are you looking for a partner, your wishes and preferences. Sometimes this exercise is quite difficult.
After you finish reread what you wrote and then ask yourself if you are dating a person in this same direction, or if you are looking for someone, if you are in the group to find it. Research has shown that we meet our mates within our friends, or the friends of our friends.
On the other hand, many women and men struggle with some self esteem issues, some lack of confidence either in looks or personal attributes, some of them, deep inside feel they don´t deserve to be loved or be happy. In my professional experience, I have seen gorgeous girls and handsome boys feeling they are not so good, not hot, not valuable…. Once a very nice women enter my office, really sad, telling me she needed to talk about the big problems she had to be with a nice man…. she claimed she was always with alcoholic guys, repeating this same pattern again and again…. As I was listening to her, it came obvious that she met them while going out with friends to have drinks, then discos, then after hours bars….. Of course there were many factors that contributed in her “bad luck” , but maybe if to start, she changed the place where she meet people could help, she did.
So give yourself a good partner , listen to yourself, ask to yourself, and direct yourself to the kind of guy you want to have as a couple.
To look for a mate is to look your future family as well. Take it seriously, the marriage problems can be solved before you get married.
Suggest many movies, like “Fatal Attraction”, as a classic; “Intervention” about couples trying to handle problems; “How to be Single” with interesting self love, friendship love, etc.
Books the classic, “Romeo and Juliet”, “Why We Love” by Helen Fisher
For additional context, you can read the study, by Dr. Aron, Edward Melinat, Elaine N. Aron, Robert Darrin Vallone and Renee J. Bator, originally published in the Personality and Social Psychology Journal (PDF)