It seems that love is overrated. Excuse me, the portrayal of love on tv, movies and online is overrated. There’s a million movies about the story of two young lovers finding fate and themselves and then fighting all the odds to become star crossed lovers. It’s the tale of love conquers all, but it only happens when you’re young and have no responsibilities. The other side are the blundering mid 30’s or 40’s age when the kids are hormone raging teens, your job has become mundane drudgery and your parents seem to be enjoying their golden age. Some how the characters are stuck in the middle, where the love well is drying up and they re-evaluate their love, but not until temptation, either from another person or life changing event happens. Out of both types of romance movies, which one is the one that makes it through?
Oddly enough, according to Steinberg’s Triangular Love Theory, and my own interpretation of those types of movies, I would say the middle aged couple that hit a lull has a better chance than the hopelessly madly in love that conquers all types. Why?….Well, let’s be honest with ourselves if you’ve been in those fiery type of romances, it’s just like the movies. Excitement, sex, enjoyment, sex, drunken nights, sex, recklessness and more sex. These types of relationships fit into the category of “Romantic Love, ” according to Steinberg. To put it simply, there’s a lot of passion and even intimacy, but it lacks commitment which Consummate Love contains intimacy, passion and commitment. Isn’t the fun part, though finding love and learning the person? Take for existence Titanic, would you have liked the story any different if you saw that Leonardo’s character made it out alive and twenty years later they’re arguing about mortgage payments and why he doesn’t do the same things he used when they first met?
Steinberg’s Triangular Theory of Love has six types of love: Companionate Love-This has intimacy and commitment, but no passion. Commitment-Empty Love, commitment alone. Fatuous Love-Passion and Commitment, but no intimacy. Passion-Infatuation, passion alone. Romantic Love-Intimacy and Passion, but no commitment. Intimacy-Liking, intimacy alone. Consummate as I talked about earlier is the sum of all of them equally. Too often times I see people trying to find love and it seems they have more lust for the person then an actual connection and when the fantasy fades and the girl or boy no longer encaptures what they mislead themselves to think the fun is over and the problems usually occur.
Too many times the benefits of love are overlooked and not mentioned. We can promote sex on the radio as early as the sunrise, but mentioning love somehow seems uncool and talked down about, like it’s some deviant behavior. There are some health benefits of finding love and maintaining a healthy love life. Love has been said to increase your immune system, help keep the pounds off if you exercise with your loved one, lower mortality rates for happy couples, that healthy glow due to less acne causing cortisol from lower stress levels when in love. Cardiovascular health is an added benefit from love as well as holding someone’s hand, can actually decrease the feelings of pain. Having sex once a week can increase estrogen levels and regulate menstrual cycles for women. Last, couples that are deep in love actually have more dopamine brain activity which can be associated with optimism, energy and a sense of well-being.
Love is so powerful, that on a physiological level seeing an attractive face activates the same part of the brain that reacts from painkillers, the opioid system. Being in love makes the heart grow fonder, or least makes the blood flow according to MRI scans that show the nucleus accumbens region has increased blood flow during times of love. A drop in serotonin, maybe an explanation why new lovers sometimes only seem to concentrate on each other and ignore the other person’s faults. When couples are in love for a little while to create the attachment phase. During this phase oxytocin and vasopressin spread throughout the brain and create feelings of well-being and security.
With all these facts about the health benefits and senses of well-being, then why isn’t America more proactive about promoting falling and maintaining love lasting relationships? I know finding true love is hard, but the alternative is a loveless society.