Thursday, November 06, 2008

Physical Attraction and Love.

We're surrounded by a world of lust. We're mammals with desires, instincts, urges. But somewhere lost within our societal influences, our evolution proves our deepest desire... 
to be in love.
I watched a video today in my Social Psychology class that went into psychological depths of physical attractiveness and our chemical reactions... I won't be able to remember much about the chemical stuff... neurobiology is not my thanggg... Sorry. 
We all know the rule of symmetry. Everyone's heard that we're attracted to individuals with symmetric faces. It's proven and accepted... yeah yeah yeah... 
We're also attracted to pheromones that are produced by a special someone of interest. There's been studies done where women will actually smell the sweaty T-shirts of men who had been playing basketball... then these women will proceed to analyze which smell they're most attracted to. And sure enough, the pheromones that women often get the most excited over belong to men with the strongest immune systems. How the hell? And why the hell? I don't know. It's part of our evolutionary instincts to find the most 'attractive' person, who would then be obviously the best suit to raise children and a family with, and continue the beautiful human life. 
It still seems strange that my Chick-Flick influenced subconscious would find attraction levels based on healthiness and who would bone the best, and make the best lookin' hijos. But, I guess that's where the basis for our attraction comes from... Who has the best genes. 
One of the anthropologists who was making this video gave her theory of a 3 step attraction process. The first step is lust. Pretty self explanatory. I feel like this step is too heavily stressed in the World around us. We're expected to act on these urges. I would guide not to recognize these desires as often as they arouse. Lust is misleading in our goal of ultimate love. Other mammals with these lustful desires can pull it off. They're capable of sexing all over the place and making babies, because that is more so their 'purpose' in the circle of life. But we're these radical beings... and we're exceptions, as always. Somewhere in lust you must factor in future, which I believe to be almost impossible if we're truly just acting on lustful instincts. The step of lust doesn't get us far in our goal for love. After lust comes the romantic interest. You know... that puppy love stuff. Who doesn't want this stuff? It's great. I think this is probably when most of the chemical interactions going on in our body happen. Because to me, romantic interest means further sexually... which means more chemical alterations. Some lovely thing called the caudate nucleus is activated when we're in love. There is literally a change in our brain, similar to the effects a drug such as cocaine may have on us. The dopamine levels in our bodies are highly elevated, and as many of us have probably experienced... we have one attention, one focus: the lover. This explains our desires to be with that person all the time. It's nearly impossible to focus attention elsewhere. I'm a big fool for the idea of romantic love, but have potentially only really felt the chemical changes in my body for a couple recent weeks in my life. They were great. Unexplainable, powerful, all that good stuff. We all have a desire to fall for someone. We want to be swept off our feet and into someone's love embrace. It's an addiction... I mentioned this in my last blog, even. I'm addicted to love... we all are. So, what comes after the romantic interest stage according to this woman? Long Term Attachment. This is just simply the commitment stage. Pffftttt. It's an oxymoron for me to say "simply the commitment stage," isn't it? This is the time in our biological lives when we decide that we're ready to raise children together. So... we commit. I'm a cynic to this idea, right now in my life. I'm debating and playing roles in my head as to what I would want commitment to truly mean in any relationship I'm in. I'm a big fan of growing as a person, and with other people. And I think it's ignorant to not notice growth that may take place apart from that other committed person. Relationships are important to me, and I think ideally I'd like to make that commitment. But, realistically I'm hesitant. You can make the commitment, but you also must commit to yourself. How much of yourself can you ultimately give up? Shoot... "give up" was a bad choice of words. You know what I mean though... Have you heard of "The 7 Year Itch"? This is the time when attraction generally begins dwindling. Evolutionarily this would be explained with the idea that you and your lover would now have a kid around the age of 6 or 7 and you know now that the child is at a better place to witness and live a break up... Eventually attraction may only be holding on by the offspring, and their happiness. My parents must've had the seven year itch... I was about 5 when their divorce was going through. I'm fine. I fit the mold. I can see this... and in some ways, I can respect it. I respect my parents' love and care for each other, and themselves to recognize things that may have no possible positive solution. I respect that they let each other go, and broke their commitment to one another. We're so focussed on divorce rates in this country being negative. And, I do agree. It's sad that relationships are so often weak, and divorce may seem like the "easy way" out. I could never look at it that way... but I can see how the majority can and do. Divorce isn't always bad. Marriage before a certain point is bad... Premature, and immature marriages. If you lose the itch, you lose the itch. No blame pointed. If there's someone better, there's someone better. It's your choice. Bleh. Hits close to home, this junk. 
But anyway... What else did I learn from this video that I thought interesting? OH! I think it's pretty obvious that what we notice men to be most attracted to is visual phenomenon. In the courting sphere, they're focussed on appearance... which could be affected by things as small as dialated pupils, to something as obvious as "a nice rack." Women however, are more attracted to memories of a man. I was glad to hear this, because I would agree, 100%. Women are attracted to men who they have memories of high morale situations, and good times. Or, they purposely remember times when the man messed up, and put that in the back of their heads somewhere as possible justification of sorts in the future. 
Ah... attraction.
Great stuff. 

I've never had a boy love me, so I'm not sure where my heart really lies in all of this stuff. But, it's fun to think about before I have to experience and deal with it first hand. I've paid close attention to relationships my friends have, one relationship in particular, and have pulled out many things from them that I would inspire to, and that I would never want. Sadly enough, not too many of my friends really have positive relationships going down, in my opinion. My roommate is livin the life... that's for sure. But, other than that... the relationships I see daily are not what I would desire.... But I like knowing that : )

I think I'm going to call it a night. Two blogs in two nights? 
Something's wrong with me...
Night World.

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