From Dr. Jane's Notebook
Love is a Touching Experience
Let's face it...love is a body thing. Those who are in the market for relationships are
usually looking for just the "right chemistry" or for someone who "turns
them on". Falling in love involves that "butterflies in the stomach"
feeling, and other sure indicators. But what really makes people fall in love?
Surely if we could bottle and sell it, people everywhere would take their love
vitamin daily. Being in love is a very popular thing, but it is not quite as mysterious as
it used to be...read on....
- Falling in love requires paying attention to someone else. When we care about
someone else, we begin to "feel" for them. We become concerned about their
physical and emotional well-being. We think about them, and we think about doing
thoughtful gestures for them. In short, feelings of love come from us naturally when we
pay attention to, and are concerned about another. But like the chicken-and-the-egg
problem (which came first?), love can develop as the result of paying attention to
someone, or we can begin paying attention because we feel love. One of the best (and least
expensive) ways to demonstrate our love is by paying attention, through talking and
listening. If you wish to feel more love, consider increasing the amount of attention you
pay to the person you love?
Research has shown that by simply
spending time together, people begin to like each other. Companionship and sharing come in
many different forms. Anything from carpooling to participating in life-changing
experiences can set the stage for falling in love. When we participate in activities with
someone else on a regular basis, we grow together and share the emotions of that personal
growth. Knowing this, couples who want to maintain that exciting edge in their
relationship should become involved in new shared activities from time to time, such as
taking trips, enrolling in fun courses, or volunteering together. Having a regular
involvement (a date) with someone puts them on your mental calendar.
- Falling in love involves a shared reality.
- Love is maintained through touch. When people touch, certain hormones are released
within the body that give us pleasure. Humans and other animals crave those feelings on a
regular basis. When skin-to-skin contact is positive, we experience a feeling of
relaxation, comfort and of being cared for. In general, we are highly sensitive to touch,
so if the person touching us is a loved one and we want to feel their touch, we accept
that touch like a gift. However, if the person touching us is not a loved one, we may try
not to feel or become angry at the violation of our boundaries. Allowing one's self to be
touched requires trust. When touch has been painful due to physical abuse or medical
procedures, we sometimes become fearful and less open to the experience of touch, and may
inadvertently, push away those who are trying to communicate their love. On the other
hand, the lack of touch in a love relationship may be an indicator that feelings are no
When in love, it is possible to glorify
even the most villainous person, or if we are trying to escape, it is easy to make a
villain out of those we love. Unfortunately, love is not always a rational decision. We
carry scars from previously broken hearts which can color our perceptions, but for some
reason, people crave that out-of-their-minds feeling of being in love again. I recommend
that people who wish to find the right person, first clarify what they value in others,
what they want in a companion, and other logical considerations. Falling in love is not
the difficult part; falling in love with someone who is good for you is the difficult
part. It is important to realize that love is a personal investment of yourself.
Typically, relationships pay off in positive ways, or exact a great toll.
- We can talk ourselves in or out of love.
It is important to realize that love is a
feeling that comes from inside of us... not from an external source. We sometimes think
that love is something that someone else provides. In some ways, love is like money. The
joy comes from spending it and sharing it. The capacity to love exists within each of us.
Our love can be directed toward almost anything (for example, hobbies, work, pets,
- Love can be found in many different ways.
In short, love is a personal resource which we can choose to share or not. Love is not
something that we feel only when it is provided by others. On the contrary, love is
something we feel when we share it with others.
ęCopyright, 1997, 1999, Jane R. Rosen-Grandon. All rights reserved.
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Last Updated February 27, 1999 by Gary M. Grandon,