The Anatomy of Love


Now isn’t this an ambitious project… my telling you about love?  Most everyone thinks they know what love is, though few seem to know where to find it! That sock problem again. LoL Perhaps putting our clues together might bring us success. The situation is grave, and this alone is the antidote so let’s see if we can find it.     

Yes, it has immense healing properties, and prevents a great many maladies, though ironically, its start was somewhat tragic. You know the story of paradise and the forbidden fruit, the repercussions from which we are still reeling. Moral of the story?  Be careful what you put in your mouth. It can diminish your mortality. Or is it what we accept as fuel for our thoughts, or to whom we give our trust, or any and all of the above? 

The matter is further complicated by the fact that there are different types of love, not just a red or blue pill. But regardless of the sort, its stupendous effects are experienced immediately in the giving and receiving of it and all are in need of this life-infusing elixir. It turns out, according to Dr. Tausz, The Biochemistry of Love, Orgasms, and Partnership, Bayberries, 21 December, 2012, Web 16 March 2016, there are chemical precursors that facilitate its emergence. Testosterone, Estrogen, Dopamine, Oxytocin, and Vasopressin are the main stars of the show. The answer yes, lies within. 

Furthermore, Sue Carter & Stephen Porges, Biochemistry of Love, Diener Education Fund, 2016, Web 03 March 2016, postulate, that it is epigenetic, meaning that the characteristics of genes and the form in which they are transferred to future generations can be molecularly modified by nurture and the environment, especially important in the formative years. We can actually increase its presence in our lives through generous deposits in our relationships, and where necessary, add oxytocin to the menu. 

Dr. Tausz’s, Ibid. further asserts that, social engagement and ‘positivity’, originate from the same cocktail of molecules, which would suggest that these are also essential components for our wellbeing. Well having done a longitudinal study for over half a century, I would confirm, this is absolutely correct!  We are social beings.  Love is only relevant in the context of relationships. Singlehood is not biologically indicated, nor is it emotionally optimal.  We were designed for conjugal, happy, loving relationships! 

Dr. Tausz, Ibid. points out, Dopamine is responsible for excitement, Oxytocin for feelings of attachment, and Vasopressin for loyalty or monogamy.  Seems we are hardwired for loving, healthy, exclusive partnerships. Which brings me to an important distinction. Sex and love are not the same thing.  There are pleasure centers in the brain which can be exploited for instant gratification, but which have little to do with love, which supersedes physical attraction or lust and has the component of attachment. One should never confuse the two.

Objectifying women or men, treating them as ornaments or toys, devalues spirit and degrades societal stability.  Pursued without consent, sex is an expression of violence, not love.  Sex can involve love, but love always places sex in the context of ‘we’ versus the insistence of ‘I’.

The main types of love according to Wikipedia are:

Agape    –  unconditional acceptance and thoughtful concern for others, giving without 

                     expectation. Envision a world where this is the norm… the rewards are immense!

Philia     -  love between friends, platonic, warm, based on common interests and shared values.

Eros       -  passionate, romantic love including sexual desire.

Storge    -  typical of parent and child, natural, empathic, accepting and forgiving.

We have all experienced varying degrees of one or more of the above. Most importantly we have the intrinsic capacity for all, and the degree to which we receive, is only determined by what we give. Furthermore, there is no limit to how much we can give, for returns are guaranteed and multiplied.  Now in the area of conjugal relationships, there are traditions which have intercepted the natural processes of attraction, romance and union, and instead advanced ‘arrangement’, ‘learn to love it’, and ‘we know what’s best for you’ philosophies. LoL

This is a total corruption of the process by which happy unions, communities and countries are created. We cannot usurp the choice of another and somehow think that we are advancing the public good! Yes, I am well aware, parents want to ensure financial sustainability for their progeny, but there is a great deal more to happiness than that.  Incompatibility creates chaotic households which places offspring at a disadvantage for finding happiness in their lives.

The lack of appropriate parenting, characteristic of neglect, nonattachment, and instability etc., can create serious emotional deficits in later years. You can never love your child too much, given the application of appropriate parenting. This involves having reasonable expectations, not superimposing your version of success, or living vicariously through your kids.

A key component of good parenting is letting go, not emotionally, but as the GPS for your youngster, who as they mature, require an indispensable familiarity with their own inner compass. Similarly, a great parent will respect and celebrate the individual accomplishments of their loved ones and tell them so.

Now the notion of conjugally pairing adults with children is a great disaster, as there is a huge developmental disparity that does not lend itself to proper growth and equality in relationships. The best outcomes result from individual choice of partner, career, friendships and vocational pursuits. Only when we are happy within ourselves can we be happy with another! But that doesn’t mean that any other will do. Ideally there is a match or complementarity in interests, beliefs, dispositions, and desires, to name but a few.

There is a pervasive thought, that once a pledge is given, it must be kept at all costs, even if it kills you. LoL This is not a sensible idea. If in fact, the union lacks compatible components for the safety, happiness and wellbeing of all, it is not pragmatic to cling to an ideological norm for the sake of commitment, at your own peril. Relationships were never intended to be a warzone. In fact, women, the complementary gender, have for many lifetimes (lol) been exposed to physical, emotional and financial distress due to inappropriate unions. This should no longer be.

The errant notion that men and women are not equals because women do not do all of what men can, is a specious and false premise. Would you ever offer the option of choosing a heart over a lung?  Obviously not! Either are essential for life as we know it, but they are decidedly different in structure and function. So likewise, men and women are equals in import, though different in strengths, function and roles. A lack of respect for either, diminishes their sacred contributions to the human experience. One cannot exist without the other, nor does one exist for the sole advancement of the other. When both are suitably matched, phenomenal things happen.

In conclusion, ‘love is a many splendored thing’, if you have, indeed, created the real McCoy.  We are predisposed by biological design for just this relationship. It is not a timid, unassuming, docile acceptance of what another perceives best, but a vibrant celebration of self and others. It is neither inflexible nor irrevocable. It is the recognition that though we are as different as the days of our lives, we share a potent protective faculty, capable of transforming our experience and our world in altogether wonderful ways. What’s more, we don’t have to go far to find it. We are born with a limitless capacity, which if nurtured and cherished, becomes our light in all seasons and a capable and sure guide. You have nothing to lose and so much to gain.

I know, it isn’t easy with dissonant opinions, stubborn traditions, and justifiable reasons for not reaching across the aisle. Nor am I suggesting we dismiss the wrongs, put them out of sight, or pretend they don't exist. Love has the certitude to look them in the eye and dares to solve them. Love always protects, honors what's right and true, isn't easily dissuaded, keeps on believing, as well it should, for love creates worlds. Now our world is in metamorphosis. Whatever future we face, this is our only hope for a meaningful ‘now’ and a better tomorrow.

Love really is the answer, it’s what we’re made of and who we were designed to be. Just think… we have been living with the solution our entire lives and perhaps failed to recognize the enormity of its reach. Seems it’s time we tapped into this vast reservoir. There is nothing preventing us now or ever. Love is the antidote.

Tags: #personal development, #love, #success, #celebration, #happiness, #self-actualization, #inspiration, #psychology, #loving others, #insight, #transformation, #peace

References and additional reading of Note

Dr Tausz, The Biochemistry of Love, Orgasms and Partnership, 2012

Sue Carter & Steven Porges, Biochemistry of Love, 2016 

Wikipedia Contributors, The Four Loves, Wikipedia, The Free Encyclopedia, 10 March 2016, Web 16 March 2016,

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