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New Year’s 2013

January 2, 2013


Long-exposure Firefly Dance photo by Tsuneaki Hiramatsu

What is love?

The question is perhaps better, or at least easier understood by observing and learning behavioral traits that are triggered when someone falls in love.

Anthropologist, Dr. Helen Fisher suggests that romantic love is evolutionarily selected to consist of four components:

1)    When a person falls in love, the person of the object takes on a special meaning.  Everything associated with that person, whether its cars, music, that person’s body odor, physical appearance, are all beautified.

2)    You develop an intense energy that is focused on the person of the object.  You think about the person constantly at night or throughout the day.

3)    Once you fall in love, you become sexually possessive of the other person. Evolutionarily selected so a strong bond can be formed between two that’s suitable for reproduction

4)    And lastly, Helen Fisher pointed out that falling in love creates an intense craving, a longing to be emotionally and physically connected with the other person.

Well, falling in love sounds morbidly dangerous.

A poker player calculates the probability of obtaining a wining set at each game, an economist studies the correlation between market demand and supply, and an employee completes a project with outstanding results in hopes to move forward towards a promotion.   At every level of our life, we analyze the risks and scrutinize the potential gains before making an investment.   Yet we disregard these fundamental rationales and toss them out of the window when it comes to romantic love.  Instead we bravely put on our love goggles and see our surroundings as rainbow colored geometric shapes.   Our senses becomes heightened, suddenly a rose smells fragrant even though it has been sitting in a vase in a deli market for days, the sky is bluer and clearer when a storm is actually engulfing the land, and our physical and cerebral happiness is singularly dependent on the reciprocation of affection from another human being.

For this year’s New Years Eve celebration, I met with a group of friends and enjoyed a festival dinner and drank champagne, gave hugs and kisses while exchanging auspicious New Years greetings.  It was a relaxing and enjoyable night and I was grateful and light hearted in the company of some of my favorite people.   Yet a small, well-wishing text message dampened my mood.   In an intertwined and long-over due breakup that happened exactly around this time of last year, I cut ties to my best friend.  It was a complicated, but perhaps not uncommon relationship consisted of romantic love in the first year and dragged out for the proceeding five years in the form of an intimate friendship.

Even if the relationship changes with time, the initial act of falling in love is dangerous and irrational.

As I think of 2012 and remember the times that I have listed to girl friends crying over heart breaks with men, and as I noticed the overtly obvious ritual of men and women searching for one another in the club, I wondered, why does romantic love dominate our happiness?

Whatever the answer is, it, or the right person must be worthy of all the risks and bruises that our hearts go through.

But romantic love should not overshadow, or diminish our capability to care, and give out other forms of love.

So for 2013, until I meet my best friend, I will love myself.


From → Love

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