Archive for July, 2015

“Why Do Fools Fall In Love”? (I’ll tell ya!)

Monday, July 6th, 2015

Do you know the song in the title of this writing? Frankie Lymon had the original, I believe.

Some of the lyrics go like this: “Why does my heart skip this crazy beat?  For I know, it will reach defeat.

Tell me why, tell me why?  Why do fools fall in love”

The purpose of this writing is to explain why “fools” fall “in love” – and “reach defeat”.

In my office too often I meet with “fools” who swear that they “fell in love”. They are perplexed for they were sure that they had met this wonderful person, “fell in love” and got married – and then the bottom fell out of the relationship. Then these “fools” say that their “love” partner changed – s/he wasn’t that way when we were dating”.

A couple of considerations here. One, what does “in love” mean? Two, do you think that you really “knew” the person who you “fell in love with”?

The typical dating scenario for the “fools falling in love” is that two people meet, mutual attraction occurs, lustful romantic dating springs into action, a short engagement takes place, and then wedding vows are shared. What the “fools” don’t realize is that a chemical reaction is the short term bonding culprit.

In this early exciting time neurochemicals are activated, three to be exact: norepinephrine, dopamine, and phenylethylamine (P.E.A.). P.E.A. acts as a releasing agent of the first two. These are feel good chemicals in the brain that powerfully increase both physical and emotional energy. Look it up and see for yourself. I do not want this to be a chemistry lesson, only to alert you that when “fools fall in love” they are chemically exploding. These chemicals do not last; they peter out. Eighteen months to four years max.

Now if the relationship is not going good, a “fools” will be saying that they have “fallen out of love” or the other person has changed, etc… . But if the relationship is going well and the relationship matures then the chemicals of oxytocin and serotonin develop.  These chemicals elicit endorphins. These three chemicals bring forth a sense of attachment, comfort – a desire to cuddle. You feel close and secure. “Fools” don’t get this far.

A second factor in the “fools falling in love” phase is the behavior of the individuals. Both individuals present their best side. The bathe regularly, say all the right things, are thoughtful, considerate, giving, romantic, etc… .  They show their best side and are pretty effective in hiding their dark unpleasant side. P.E.A. continues to motivate their best behavior. When the P.E.A., and associated chemicals wear off, the individual usually reveal their true colors. The “fool” reaches “defeat”, as the song says.

In the work I do in relationship counseling, sometimes pre-marriage, I help couple understand these two factors, in addition to other key elements in making a relationship successful and enduring. Unfortunately not enough individuals, or couples, seek out this valuable information and, alas, the relationship goes south.

I hope that you have not been a “fool falling in love” and that you were able to move through the “foolish” phase and develop into a mature and truly loving, in the deepest sense, relationship. If not, learn a few things about yourself and your “wiring, do your “due diligence better, and a better outcome will result!

“The unexamined life is not worth living”   Socrates

The Fourth Of July: Let Freedom Ring! Build The Dream!

Thursday, July 2nd, 2015

The song “America” written by Samuel Francis Smith begins with these words:

“My country ‘tis of thee.  Sweet land of liberty. Land where my fathers died. Land of the pilgrims pride. From every mountain side, let freedom ring.”

Martin Luther King in his “I have a dream” speech spoke these words:

“From every mountainside, let freedom ring. …When we allow freedom to ring … we will be able to speed up that day when all of God’s children, black men and white men, Jews and Gentiles, Protestants and Catholics, will be able to join hands and sing the words of the old Negro spiritual: Free at last! Free at last! Thank God almighty, we are free at last!”

Martin Luther King was a visionary, not without foibles, but a visionary appropriate to the times of America in 1963. His life was galvanizing to many, divisive to those who held on to their prejudices. Laws of equality emerged anew from his inspirational message.

John F. Kennedy was a visionary with statements such as this: “Ask not what your country can do for you; ask what you can do for your country”.  Space exploration and the Peace Corps were fruits of such a call to action. Over time many young people have responded to serve our country in the military.

Woodrow Wilson challenged Americans to a broader world perspective with these words: “You are not here merely to make a living.  You are here in order to enable the world to live more amply, with greater vision, with a finer spirit of hope and achievement”.

Who are the visionaries and inviters among us?  Who are the dividers, the close minded, among us? Who are the people than can rise up beyond selfish and partisan perspectives that can be visionary leaders of the common denominator of shared human kind?  Who can see beyond the religious divisions of Christian, Muslim, and Jew; or the cultural and racial divides of blacks, whites, browns,  and reds; or the political chasm between liberals and conservatives?  Who can present and debate ideas without ridiculing, demonizing, and mocking those with different viewpoints. Who can rise above the petty and mundane, the short term gain, to inspire today’s “dream” – to let “freedom ring”  and be heard by those who want to create a better world.

May this Fourth of July be a reminder of the gift of freedom that we have and the challenges still before us as we continue to dream of a better world.  The song  IMAGINE contains these words:

“You may say I’m a dreamer.   But I’m not the only one. I hope you join us. And the world will be as one.”

“The unexamined life is not worth living”     Socrates