Is there a science to love?

HPLSJCS_62414I recently had the honor of participating on HuffPost Live’s segment “How We Can Understand Love Through Science” with Dr. Sue Johnson. Dr. Johnson’s book, Love Sense, is a result of her groundbreaking research on our emotional bonds and attachment styles. Love Sense “presents new scientific evidence that tells us that humans are meant to mate for life. Dr. Johnson explains that romantic love is an attachment bond, just like that between mother and child, and shows us how to develop our “love sense”–our ability to develop long-lasting relationships. Love is not the least bit illogical or random, but actually an ordered and wise recipe for survival.” -Little, Brown and Company

Dr. Johnson says that she wrote this book as both a guide and a warning. Tune in to hear about her views on sex, dating, love, and the impact social media plays on our relationships. http://live.huffingtonpost.com/r/segment/third-metric-thrive-on-live-love-sense-dr-sue-johnson/5363f31f02a7604eae00045c She’s concerned about our relationships in the age of technology because “it is making people lonelier and more isolated”. I asked her what her thoughts were on online dating and why single women are having difficulty finding sincere men. I see it as a function of online dating. We treat online dating like we do our social media streams and select only the images that stand out to us. Is it related to a faulty attachment style? Tune in to hear Dr. Johnson’s take.

What do you think? Are we selecting people based on superficial qualities and discounting other factors? Do you think online dating makes it easier to run game? What frustrates you the most about online dating?

 

Top 3 things to help get over an ex.

Dealing with a break-up, separation or divorce is often difficult. Here are a few things that can help you cope with the break-up, separation or divorce.

1. Try to refrain from highlighting negative things about your ex. Simply because it disrespects you. Afterall, you were in the relationship with the person. When you re-tell events or character flaws, the person listening will wonder why you were in the relationship to begin with. Utilize your discussions to be about rebuilding yourself and not diminishing the other person because that doesn’t improve your sense of self. It may feel good in the short-term, but not long-term.

breakup 2. Cultivate a network of support that has diverse perspectives. That way you will have different outlets to express the range of your emotions.  Especially when dealing with divorce where you can experience anger, resentment, and loss all in the same breath.

3. Forgive yourself. The only thing you did was try to show someone love and cultivate a life for you both. Allow yourself to feel the pain and unburden yourself of what was your former life. All you did was demonstrate that you have the capacity to love and build a life for yourself. You can do it again.

Thanks to a great relationship wellness panel discussion by The Law Firm of Wisselman, Harounian & Associates, P.C.

What they don’t tell you about online dating: the mathematics of love.

It is estimated that 1 in 4 relationships start online and predicted that 70% will use online dating services in the future. The current reality of online dating:

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Approaching dating as though it is testing out what I call, your happiness hypothesis, your own personalized algorithm that can help minimize some of your own expectations. Create an equation (just like the dating sites) that includes the elements that you absolutely require (fixed variable) and the elements that you think you want (random variable). Focus just on characteristics, qualities and life desires. For example: a friend of mine has the following requirements of the men she dates: ivy educated, graduate degree, professional, shared religion, family-oriented, certain age range, & certain height requirements. Physical appearance, sense of humor, adventurous, and work-life balance are not priorities for her. Identify the elements that you think you must have and those that you’d like to have.  You might find that dating based on a system testing out your happiness hypothesis, will help you figure out what is a better fit for yourself.

 

Why men are not idiots and women are not crazy

We often talk about the differences between men and women’s communication style. I really think the key to this difference are due to our biology. Men behave the way they do because they can’t give birth, so they try to provide material things. Their orientation to the world is far less emotional and more about material acquisition. Women deliver life which is a spiritual experience that makes us more aware of our mortality and our life choices. Women tend to think and act beyond themselves. Both genders seek permanence, stability and security; but our definitions of these things are sometimes different. Men don’t require the same level of permanence, stability and security as women do. The male ego is far more driven to preserve itself, while the female ego seeks to create stability around her.

Women feel they need to maximize their situations and want to project that moment into the future. Men take their situations and project it just to that space and time. They evaluate personality and character flaws; women evaluate the emotional content that was created in that moment. Women can take that situation and begin to think about what the future will be based on that situation. i.e., if you didn’t wash the dishes after dinner was prepared, we think that you either: a) devalue us on some level; b) don’t want to create an equitable partnership; and/or c) are acting selfishly. All of these choices lead us to believe that our lives will include elements of being devalued, treated inconsiderately, and acting against our self-interest.

Men can examine the situation, deal with the moment, adapt accordingly, and move on. They don’t project that situation onto a lifetime of misery. Most times they have already balanced out what they need before they met you. They don’t dwell on minor details like we do. Men fantasize about the physical; women fantasize about their lifestyle. This is why we are obsessed with shoes 😉

How to get what you want.

Honesty, communication, and respect are what I believe are the foundation for any good relationship, romantic or not. If you want to improve your relationships, you can begin with working on your communication and listening skills. Miscommunication and not being heard quickly becomes anger, resentment, regret or disillusionment.

Tips on communicating and listening:

  1. Don’t assume you know what the point is. Let the person convey what is on their mind before you interject.  When you interject too quickly you are focusing on the previous discussion that was a recycled version of the one you are currently listening to and already expect the outcome to be the same. A fight, resentment, introversion, or accumulated anger is what you are trying to avoid.
  2. Summarize, anticipate, and formulate questions based on what you’re hearing. Strategize by moderating your reaction as the person is talking to you, then respond. The speed in which your thoughts and speech work are two different frequencies. That allots you time to avoid the pitfall of another fight, being misunderstood, or expressing the wrong emotions.
  3. Be flexible in your thinking about the outcome of the discussion. If ultimately you want x, you may have to be able to hear an alternative method.

You couldn’t even turn off the porn?

The stats on this guy:
Age: 40
Occupation: MD
Seeking: Long Term Relationship

Lavalife, like most online dating sites, has several search options. I met him in the LTR chat section. We had a lot in common, we were getting along, he seemed really interesting and it was mutual. So, we decide to have a phone conversation, where we talked for an hour! We were intrigued and excited to see each other based on a really interesting conversation.

We decide to meet up a week later. Chemistry was great, we were both very attracted to each other, very free-flowing conversation, overall had a great date. He called me that same night reiterated his interest and wanted to go on a second date. Cool. The whole week we we’re texting each other every day. Second date was better than the first. I mean he not only practices medicine, he also wants to perfect a technique to improve recovery time on patients. [You can just picture small kittens at this point]. Really nice guy, sweet, compassionate, a little bit of a homebody for me, but all around good guy. Definitely looking forward to our next date. Finally I break my serial one date online dating pattern with someone who I was very intrigued by.

Same thing: he calls me when the date is over. This time he has noise on in the background so loud that I had to comment. It sounded like stethoscopeporn. “Is that porn?” “Yes. I can’t turn the volume down.” And continued his conversation. I tried to go with the flow. Shush don’t judge. But the screaming kept me very unfocused. Doesn’t bother to pause it or anything that might make sense. So, I simply say “Is she screaming?” Quiet, then in a very breathy voice says yes. Nice! “Are you jerking off?” In shorter breaths says “I’m thinking about your ass!” Then cums. I naturally hang up, not because I don’t like a little phone sex. I just like to know that I’m gonna be participating. He continued to call me all night long.

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