Being in love=Delusional?

Cpt_pineapple
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Being in love=Delusional?

Isn't love delusional?

 

To cunt/paste

 

* the delusional belief is held to with inordinately strong force.

* The belief exerts undue influence on the patient's life, sometimes to inexplicable extent.

* Despite profound conviction, the patient displays suspicion or elusiveness when questioned about the belief.

* Lack of humor regarding the belief/overly sensitive to humor. 

* Centrality:  no matter how unlikely the beliefs are, they remain largely unquestioned.

* When their belief is contradicted, the patients are often inappropriately angered, emotional, and hostile.

* Their belief is, at the least, very unlikely to be true.

* Their belief, if acted out, leads to bizarre or abnormal behaviors.

* The patient's behavior will change significantly, such that people who know them will find their new behavior out of character.

 

 

Based on observing other people's relationships, I really think this fits. I mean held with a strong force? abnormal behavior? strong emotional response?

 

I suppose it's "in our genes", but hookers show that you don't have to love someone and be in a long term relationship to do the dirty and make babies.

 


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Awwwww. Who broke your

Awwwww. Who broke your heart, Cpt?

Random internet wrote:
"You would take a one-sided love and little attention that you do receive over none at all, for unrequited love is just as romantic even if it is the most painful."

Random Internet wrote:
"It was just never going to end. I needed time alone. I didn’t want a divorce, or more living on my own. I just wanted time away, and whenever I needed it. I don’t think it was ever going to happen. Of course, now I have all the time in the world."

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I love nice smelling pretty

I love nice smelling pretty pussy religiously .... works every time. Oh that pussy. Let's fuck real good, love love, so nice  .... Thanks pussy cat  .... what's your name, come back again, let's practice lustful godly pleasure .... fast and slow .... Oh yeah, more more .... My thing loves your attention .... feels good .... I like it .... Yum.


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I do believe that IAGAY

I do believe that IAGAY agrees with your analysis, Cpt.Pineapple.

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      .... pussy can

      .... pussy can taste real good .... I love girls so very much  .... Cpt is a tease, thanks for waking me up .... What's that hole for .... let me show ya .... please please .... be a good girl, we will have fun fun fun ..... if we can not fall stupidly in love .... I like your Pink ....


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darth_josh wrote:Awwwww. Who

darth_josh wrote:

Awwwww. Who broke your heart, Cpt?

 

Nobody. I'm just curious.

 

 

Quote:

 

I do believe that IAGAY agrees with your analysis, Cpt.Pineapple.

 

Yeah, he's a case study alright.

 


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A study , what I am, as I AM

A study , what I am, as I AM GOD as YOU ....

Still...You turn me on

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jGNm67kFods&feature=related

 Pink Me , mess with me ....

U and Ur Hand

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=DowvJ6h1WnM

   Do me good .... let me have my fun, give me your honey, entertainment, uh hu ....

 


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I'll throw in my 2 cents and

I'll throw in my 2 cents and say...

 

Yes, being in love is delusional

(and no i dont care to backup my comment with actual proof )

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Cpt_pineapple wrote:Isn't

Cpt_pineapple wrote:

Isn't love delusional? 

if love is delusional then tears are delusional.

I suppose one could deny the cause of one's wet cheeks and deceive themselves into believing that it is raining on a sunny day.

People who think there is something they refer to as god don't ask enough questions.


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Cpt_pineapple wrote:I

Cpt_pineapple wrote:

I suppose it's "in our genes", but hookers show that you don't have to love someone and be in a long term relationship to do the dirty and make babies.

I would like to point out that hookers do not hold the patent on loveless sex.  It can be done by everyone, you know.  I mean...didn't you go to college?

I'm not picking on you, Cpt.  But to the OP, the brain produces a chemical (Hamby...what is it again?) that makes us blind to many realities when we dig someone.  We overlook blatant flaws of personality, red flags, and other information that would steer us away from a person we are infatuated with.  It's known as the 'honeymoon phase' of a relationship, and I feel that this would at least be considered partially delusioned behaviour.  I sure feel high when I'm all mooshy in love.  It's a beautiful and dangerous state of mind...and nice when these feelings are meritted and pain is not the result. 


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Cpt_pineapple wrote:Isn't

Cpt_pineapple wrote:

Isn't love delusional?

Being in love is delusional to the extent that you overlook or never notice things about the one with whom you are infatuated. Even worse is when it is one-sided and you have an unwarranted infatuation that you think is being in love while the other person has no clue you exist. Especially in the latter case the person is completely deluded. As someone who has been around for awhile I have been "in love" at least 9 times where it was mutual. All have ended when I/her discovered we had no idea who the fuck the other person really was.

  

 

Cpt_pineapple wrote:

Based on observing other people's relationships, I really think this fits. I mean held with a strong force? abnormal behavior? strong emotional response?

I think you need to spend more time experiencing for yourself the fun and excitement of relationships. I respect your understanding of many complex issues where you have shown exceptional brilliance at times. You can literally kick my ass at physics as I am but a lowly R and D engineer.  As with many scientific studies you really need  to do real world experimentation on the subject of "being in love" for real understanding.

 

Cpt_pineapple wrote:

I suppose it's "in our genes", but hookers show that you don't have to love someone and be in a long term relationship to do the dirty and make babies.

 

Hookers demonstrate the principle of supply and demand works even with sex. As pointed out anyone can have sex without being in love. I currently advocate only being "in lust" as I have done marriage, long term girlfriends, and the in love thing enough in my life. Though you never know when it will go from one phase to another learning to control your emotions and desires is key to better fulfillment for the individual.

 

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Cpt_pineapple wrote:Isn't

Cpt_pineapple wrote:

Isn't love delusional? 

 

To me, love is a constantly evolving set of feelings. When I consider things that can be said to be delusional, I think of those things humans "think about".

Now many will say that feelings and thoughts are the same thing, and they would be correct to an extent.... but my thinking is that they are very different, at times.

I like what PorkChop wrote:

Quote:
"We overlook blatant flaws of personality, red flags, and other information that would steer us away from a person we are infatuated with.  It's known as the 'honeymoon phase' of a relationship, and I feel that this would at least be considered partially delusioned behaviour.  I sure feel high when I'm all mooshy in love.  It's a beautiful and dangerous state of mind...and nice when these feelings are meritted and pain is not the result."

So to me, no and yes... sometimes and/or partially delusional behavior.

A really good question, pineapple.


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I've been in probably the

I've been in probably the most powerful emotional storm of my life for the past two years now and it doesn't seem to be over yet. That is, the ex girlfriend that I've brought up many times on these boards...

The "honeymoon phase" explanation doesn't quite fit my experience, as this is an ongoing emotional state, and I have to say, that by my own definition at least, I am still very much in love.

However, I have not during most of this emotional storm suspended my thoughts on the subject.

I surround myself with alot of friends and family, who understand me and how I think, and who consider it their duty, as people who love me, to tell me their honest oppinion about me and my behavior, regardless of wether it hurts my feelings.

So I have never been in short supply of occassions to examine my emotions critically.

If the definition of insanity is: To attempt the same approach again and again, while expecting different results, then I can honestly say that I am in no way insane.

Because while I have certainly attempted the same approach again and again with regards to my ex-girlfriend, I have at no time expected a different result...

I have always known exactly how things would go: I would seduce her with my self-confidence, honesty, and my sexual charisma, and we have a few months of passion, until she becomes worried that I am too lazy, and too hedonistic, to be the kinda knight-in-shining-armour, with ferocious ambition, and a large pocketbook, that she, in her youthful naivete, still expects to end up with.

But I have made the conscious calculation that my emotions are what they are, and that I may as well indulge them when possible, since I have the choice of loving her in absentia, and suffering the emotional fall-out of the loniless that that entails, or suffer the emotional fallout of her dumping me, and then missing me, and succuming to me again, only to dump me again.

During this whole process I was keenly aware of what emotional damage I was inflicting on myself, and on her, and took steps to avoid that which I believed was too dangerous for both of us.

I stay completely honest with myself, and as honest with her as my vanity allows.

I hope my vanity doesn't extend very far, because my vanity is based on my ego, and my ego is based on the foundation that I am a very honest person, who is not afraid to admit when he's wrong, especially not to himself. (of course, I could be deluding myself about that, but that is a different matter)

All in all I would say that I am being perfectly rational, while also acknowledging that my emotions are counterproductive to my hopes for a beautiful, perfect relationship. After all it is that acknowledgement that makes me rational, not my subsequent actions.

Because those actions would only be irrational if I held the belief that: "doing thing that are counterproductive to my hopes for a beautiful, perfect relationship is wrong", and I don't hold that belief.

I hold the belief that if the woman who can "save" me from this current, less than ideal, emotional state came along tomorrow, I would notice her, and I would focus my attention on her, and until that, I may as well make the best of my less than perfect situation.

In the beginning, I would honestly think that she and I would someday be in a perfect, blissful state of love-that-asks-for-nothing-in-return, once we had conquered our mutual differences, but this lasted all of two months, until we hit our first major bump in the road.

But for those two months I suppose I was somewhat delusional, but not in a way that was impervious to rational argument, had I heard any, so not a very effective delusion.

 

And just for the record, I may be an interesting case study, but I'm not suggesting that everyone is just like me. Some may be considerably less emotional than me, and others may be less rational.

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There's a substantial

There's a substantial difference between delusional disorder and love.  Delusional Disorder requires that the core belief is false.  People do feel strong attachment for each other, and typically speaking, when a couple are both in love, the substance of their belief -- that they love their partner and their partner loves them -- is true.

What you may be thinking of is the fact that love is often irrational and "blind."  This is because love is an emotional state, and as I've mentioned so many times as to be annoying, our emotions are nature's way of getting us to do things we wouldn't do if we thought about them rationally.  Love is not a belief.  It's an emotional state.  Therefore, it doesn't qualify as a delusion.

Now, if you were to suddenly develop the belief that Leonardo DiCaprio was madly in love with you, this could well be called delusional disorder.  Odds are you've never met him, and if you had, he probably didn't fall instantly in love with you.

 

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Porkchop wrote:But to the

Porkchop wrote:
But to the OP, the brain produces a chemical (Hamby...what is it again?) that makes us blind to many realities when we dig someone.

There are a few chemicals that have been implicated in feelings of love, but you're probably thinking of oxytocin.  It's most strongly implicated in maternal instincts, as it is released in large doses during labor after the distension of the cervix and vagina.  However, in studies with mice, and a few dealing with social recognition and bonding in humans, it's becoming more certain that it does play a significant role in long term sexual bonding as well.

Serotonin, dopamine, and norepinephrin have all been implicated in the short term lust and infatuation stage of attraction.  These might actually be more of what you're thinking of in terms of the blindness to shortcomings and faults.

 

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Quote:We overlook blatant

Quote:

We overlook blatant flaws of personality, red flags, and other information that would steer us away from a person we are infatuated with.

 

 

Exactly.

 

That's a belief isn't it? That the relationship will last forever and love will conquer all?  Or that you'll find your perfect match? Your soul mate? That while other relationships may have failed under similar circumstances, yours will pull through.

 

These are beliefs and are unlikely to be true.


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Quote:That's a belief isn't

Quote:
That's a belief isn't it?

No.  Not seeing flaws isn't a belief.  It's a lack of perception.  You can't believe something of which you're unaware.

Quote:
That the relationship will last forever and love will conquer all?

That's a belief, and is usually wrong.  However, note that some people do stay married until they die.  If anything, we could say that many people overestimate the odds against love conquering all.  That, I suppose, is a belief.  However, I think you'd be hard pressed to make the case that this is the central delusional belief in a delusional disorder.  I suppose it can be, but ordinarily, people don't have really huge life-altering changes in their personality because they believe they'll be married forever.  If you told most people -- with near certainty -- that they'll probably end up divorced in twenty years, and for whatever reason, they believed you, they'd probably still get married.  In other words, I just don't see the belief in the permanence of love or marriage as having a significant effect on most people's day to day life, although I'm certainly willing to entertain the idea if you can support it.

Quote:
Or that you'll find your perfect match?

I've found that the only people who believe this are the young and the religious or pseudo-religious.  I'd attribute such beliefs to larger delusional beliefs.  For those of us who don't see any purpose in the universe, and recognize the true random nature of sexual reproduction, it's pretty hard to substantiate any kind of real belief in "the one." 

Also, Pineapple, please consider that people aren't stupid.  They know how far the truth is likely to get them.  If anything, I think many people sort of knowingly substitute romantic language about "soul mates" for the much less romantic truth that they believe -- "This one's probably as good as I'm ever going to get."

Consider, which of the following monologues is more likely to end in a steamy sexual congress:

1) "Baby, you're the best ever.  You're the most beautiful woman in the world to me.  We're soul mates.  We were meant to find each other.  I will never need anything except your love."

2) "Baby, you're probably the best I'm ever going to be able to get.  You're the most beautiful woman I think I'm capable of getting who also has enough suitable qualities such as intellectual compatibility and shared life goals.  The odds are very slim that anyone better looking than you will ever be attracted to me."

Quote:
That while other relationships may have failed under similar circumstances, yours will pull through.

This one... yeah.  I'm just about willing to call this a full blown delusion.

Note, though... this is not love that's delusional.  It's the belief regarding love.

 

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The Beatles - Something

The Beatles - Something (1969)
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=XDTi_La94Uo&feature=related

           

The Beatles - Because
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=cAgyocABS0U

  .... "because love is all, love is you" ....

The Beatles - I Want You (She's So Heavy)

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ktOI7cwRqvA&feature=related

Beatles - I Wanna Hold Your Hand

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lfsvE4j4ExA

    I wrote a corny funny boogie song called "Crazy for Her" a while back.


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Hambydammit wrote:2) "Baby,

Hambydammit wrote:

2) "Baby, you're probably the best I'm ever going to be able to get.  You're the most beautiful woman I think I'm capable of getting who also has enough suitable qualities such as intellectual compatibility and shared life goals.  The odds are very slim that anyone better looking than you will ever be attracted to me."

Haha, that's 100% pure panty peeler right there that is, mmmhmmm. If you followed that up with

"In fact, I've calculated my chances using a complex Bayesian analysis and proven that there is only a 6.31x10^-8 percent chance plus or minus 1x10^-9 of me ever hooking up with someone better than you. Let's get married."

hoo buddy, you're gonna get some TO-NIGHT!


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Quote:Haha, that's 100% pure

Quote:

Haha, that's 100% pure panty peeler right there that is, mmmhmmm. If you followed that up with

"In fact, I've calculated my chances using a complex Bayesian analysis and proven that there is only a 6.31x10^-8 percent chance plus or minus 1x10^-9 of me ever hooking up with someone better than you. Let's get married."

hoo buddy, you're gonna get some TO-NIGHT!

Of course, this is why we never have to worry about the mythology of love ever going away.  All the science in the world won't change the fact that men have to lie to get laid.

Ok... girls, think about this before you try to rip me a new one.  It's simple math.  Take a 30 year old man as an example.  He's had approximately 15 years of being surrounded by females aged 15-30.  In other words, like every other man, he hung out with his peer group.  Women look their best between 15 and 30, give or take a few years.  That's not bias.  It's just fact.  The boobs are perkier, the skin is smoother, and the hair is still shiny and smooth.  The curse of extra body fat hasn't made everything start its inevitable downward journey.  There aren't any chicken feet around the eyes or lips.

During high school, let's assume he was in a class of 200.  That means there were 100 girls X 4, roughly, in his school.  Unless he was a complete stud-muffin football player, he did not date the girl voted "most likely to marry the football captain."  You know... the prettiest girl in school.  Only one guy (theoretically) got to do that at once, and in four years, even the most prolific serial daters can only get through a dozen or so guys.  That is another way of saying, only one out of ninety or so guys ever gets to take the prettiest girl in school out on a date.

That trend continues all through college, and then in the workplace, and so forth.  By the time a man is 30, he's probably seen about a thousand insanely --- stupidly hot --- women.

Now, ladies, look at your man, or a picture of him, or whatever.  Answer this question honestly with a simple yes or no.  Is he the most stunningly beautiful man you've ever seen in your life?

No, he isn't.  That's because you settled for the best you could get.  So did he.

Anytime he says, "Baby, you're the most beautiful woman in the whole world to me," he's lying.  Actually, he's not lying... he's being poetic and romantic because he wants to fuck you.  We don't have to call it lying because he does think you're attractive enough to have sex with, and that's saying something.  (Not much... but it is saying something.)

Geez... no wonder women get complexes about their looks, huh?

 

Atheism isn't a lot like religion at all. Unless by "religion" you mean "not religion". --Ciarin

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So the whole "I go to

So the whole "I go to Hooters for the chickens wings" thing is bunk?

 

 


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Quote:So the whole "I go to

Quote:
So the whole "I go to Hooters for the chickens wings" thing is bunk?

I'm afraid so.  However, the articles in Playboy are very well written, and some men really do read the whole thing.

 

 

Atheism isn't a lot like religion at all. Unless by "religion" you mean "not religion". --Ciarin

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You know, their wings aren't

You know, their wings aren't that good and I don't fuck girls or find them sexually attractive, but I still go to Hooters once in a while.  What's it about Hooters?

BigUniverse wrote,

"Well the things that happen less often are more likely to be the result of the supper natural. A thing like loosing my keys in the morning is not likely supper natural, but finding a thousand dollars or meeting a celebrity might be."


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There isn't a Hooters in my

There isn't a Hooters in my town, but last time I went to one, I enjoyed looking at the girls with boobs.  The boobs were better than the wings.

 

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I wonder how big the average

I wonder how big the average tip is at Hooters?

 

 

 

 


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Probably around a 36C

Probably about a 36C


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Hambydammit wrote:Quote:So

Hambydammit wrote:

Quote:
So the whole "I go to Hooters for the chickens wings" thing is bunk?

I'm afraid so.  However, the articles in Playboy are very well written, and some men really do read the whole thing.

 

 

Guys need something to do while prepping for the next page. Eye-wink

 

I've never even seen a Hooters. Except in a movie maybe. > >

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Cpt_pineapple wrote:Isn't

Cpt_pineapple wrote:

Isn't love delusional?

 

To cunt/paste

 

* the delusional belief is held to with inordinately strong force.

* The belief exerts undue influence on the patient's life, sometimes to inexplicable extent.

* Despite profound conviction, the patient displays suspicion or elusiveness when questioned about the belief.

* Lack of humor regarding the belief/overly sensitive to humor. 

* Centrality:  no matter how unlikely the beliefs are, they remain largely unquestioned.

* When their belief is contradicted, the patients are often inappropriately angered, emotional, and hostile.

* Their belief is, at the least, very unlikely to be true.

* Their belief, if acted out, leads to bizarre or abnormal behaviors.

* The patient's behavior will change significantly, such that people who know them will find their new behavior out of character.

 

 

Based on observing other people's relationships, I really think this fits. I mean held with a strong force? abnormal behavior? strong emotional response?

 

I suppose it's "in our genes", but hookers show that you don't have to love someone and be in a long term relationship to do the dirty and make babies.

 

Come on Captain, it was a cosmic computer program that cursed us with a "trogan" that makes us do the nasty. I would recomend we wrap the universe in a condom, just to be safe.

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Brian37 wrote:Come on

Brian37 wrote:

Come on Captain, it was a cosmic computer program that cursed us with a "trogan" that makes us do the nasty. I would recomend we wrap the universe in a condom, just to be safe.

 

 

Well, the universe is expanding. I believe it's called the Viagra model.


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Bloodhound Gang....forgot

Bloodhound Gang....forgot all about these guys!

I liked their "One Fierce Beer Coaster" CD.

And if i remember right, they let Michael Moore use one of the songs from that disc for his movie F 9/11....don't think they charged him any dough, either.

 


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Some thoughts on the nature of love (pt 1)

I am breaking this post into 3 parts because it got too long. This first part is autobiographical, so if you are not interested, just skip it, but I do use it to illustrate points that I make later in the post.

 

I have been married twice now, and in both cases I chose the wrong person. The first woman was the mother of my children, and she was a lovely redhead. She was quite beautiful, especially when she took care of herself.So I was clearly attracted by her looks, and that was all good, except that she was a psycho. She actually pulled a knife on me once. She was physically abusive and lazy as the day is long. She would actually go out and buy clothes simply because she didn’t want to do the laundry. She was so bad with money that even after she ran off with a drug dealer, I was able to get my finances into the black even though I was paying for daycare.My second wife was not so crazy. She was good looking when I first started dating her, but once she hit menopause her looks went south overnight – she aged like a decade in one year. I stayed with her in spite of this because by then I was attached to her, but I realized late in the relationship that she didn’t really want me, she wanted my kids – she couldn’t have kids of her own and she wanted to be a mom. She was using me to fulfill her maternal instincts (like Jerry McGuire, but in reverse – and none of that “you complete me” crap).Today I am in a relationship with yet another woman. This one is working out. My kids are teen-agers, and my second wife is still around and she is still in their lives (I didn’t have the heart to take a second mother away from them). Objectively this woman is not a classic beauty. She is tall and blond and big-chested, but she is a bit overweight and her hair is a bit coarse – I am overweight, bald and 13 years older than her, so we definitely see what Hamby is talking about here too – 10’s get to marry 10’s and 5’s get to marry 5’s.   This is the case for us as far as looks go.But the truth is, I’m crazy in love with her, and I’ve been crazy in love with her for 3.5 years now. What’s more, because I’m crazy in love with her, she really is the sexiest woman in the world to me. Because I feel loved and safe with her there is no one else I want to be with. This doesn’t mean that I don’t look at other women, and sure, I see a really hot woman and get all hot and bothered. But as soon as that woman opens her mouth, I lose all interest, because that hot young 20-something doesn’t have a thought in her head that I haven’t heard a thousand times before. One thing I have learned from my relationships is that I am an unusual person. I have a quirky eccentric personality that is pretty hard for the average person to relate to – this is not bragging, it is a fact. I am an INTP by Myers Briggs types – found in something like 1% of the population – On top of that I like spouting off about weird psychological theories. There just are not a lot of women who can hang with this.  .And I found one.The gratitude and appreciation that I feel about that is not an illusion of love. It is a gift, and I have been kicked in the teeth enough to know just how good I’ve got it.

 


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Some thoughts on the nature of love (pt 2)

 

So is love a delusion?It’s actually a great question. I think that when you are falling in love you are literally drug addled, and your perceptions are suspect. At the same time, I think that once you get past that stage and into the attachment part of the relationship it’s really hard to tell. Until I was able to find someone who I could really join with in a meaningful and committed  partnership, I was always dissatisfies and always looking. This was a huge drain on my energy, and I have become freer in other areas of my life because I know I’m with someone who I can trust and who has my back. For this reason, I think that courting is highly underrated in our culture. People need to court so that they can fall in love, get over it, and find out what they are really working with. Rituals around this process are really important. I wish I had been more deliberate in my courting as a young man – I might have suffered less.Ok enough autobiography.If you look at the research by Helen Fisher, she describes 3 reproductive emotional systems in the brain. Lust, Love and Attachment.Of the 3 certainly love is the one where you are most likely to become delusional. But it is a temporary insanity – love comes and goes. Even in this ideal relationship that I am in now, there are times when I am totally gaga about my partner, and there are times when I find that she gets on my nerves. Those feelings of intense bonding, of obsession with her and of sexual jealousy come and go. They are part of the emotional program that I am running in the context of our relationship, and they are clearly an evolutionary adaptation to keep me focused on one woman so that I will make babies and stick around and raise them.The rational part of my brain knows this. But It also knows that I am not really a rational creature. Being rational is one of the survival tricks that I have, it is not who I am, it is what I do. Who I am is a gene survival and transmission machine, and falling in love is one of the other tricks that I do.   In fact one can argue that it is a MUCH more important trick than being rational from my gene’s point of view. If delusion is one of the prices for gene transmission, then certainly it is a cheap price to pay, but I think my autobiography above attests to the fact that my genes care nothing for my personal happiness, as a gene transmission machine. So there you go.Hamby is right of course (as usual). The technical definitions of a delusion are not met by the “illusions of love,” and clearly a specific brain process is going on in the process of love that is qualitatively different than a delusional state. Still, it cannot be denied that the state of mind of love is one in which selective perception and poor reality testing are the norm. So here is an idea that I had a while ago, and I want to finish out the last post here by brining the thread back around to the topic of religion.I have this idea that addiction is a misfiring of the love processes of the brain. People stimulate the pleasure centers of their brain and then the “fall in love” with their drug of choice and it becomes the primary relationship in their life, then they become attached to this drug and will actually suffer loss and bereavement when they are separated from their drug (in addition to withdrawal of course). This process is not unlike the process of having a fuck buddy, then falling in love with them, and then grieving when the relationship implodes. People who are in love will abandon or betray their own children, and even lay down their lives for their lover, and the same can be said of drug addicts. This leads me to believe that the brain systems that are in charge of falling in love drive a lot of the addict’s behavior as well.

 


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Some thoughts on the nature of love (pt 3)

 

OK, so far, but what about religion?Well, we all know people who are addicted to religion – in the sense that they abandon their family, obsess about their religion, die for their religion, etc. etc.Cult leaders (including Jesus) often encourage this behavior to establish greater control of their “flock.” People become attached to their religious beliefs ignoring or rejecting evidence that contradicts their rationales for attachment, and they often feel a great deal of love for their religious icon/idle.It seems to me that many of the same brain systems that are being utilized by religion are the brain systems of lust, love and attachment. That people apply their reproductive brain systems in some way to their religious belief systems.Any thoughts?

 


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 I'm really interested in

 I'm really interested in reading the next two types, Susac.

I'd like to make a couple of preliminary observations, though.  First, I'm just going to copy and paste from another thread:

Hambydammit wrote:
Despite how obvious it is to some people that humans are "naturally" this way or that way in today's society, it's not as objectively easy to demonstrate.

Human brains were not built (by blind evolution) for post-industrial information age dating.  We have more options, more privacy, and more travel radius than we ever have before.  Many of our sexual emotions were built when we had maybe a half a dozen mate choices, and anything we did was pretty well known by everyone on earth that mattered -- our whole tribe.  While our ancestors may not have recognized the importance of sex with regard to paternity, our genes did, and they programmed us with sexual possessiveness and jealousy, but they also programmed us with good things, too.  Especially when women have an orgasm, they get a rush of natural drugs that cause a physical addiction to their partner.  Even without an orgasm, most women, and many men, are very likely to develop a completely natural attachment to their partner and jealousy towards anyone who tries to steal them.

In this age however, I think it's important for us to take a lesson from other less controversial areas of human nature.  To quote myself:

 

Quote:
As a result of this adaptation, we in the post-industrial world crave sweets, and enjoy them when we get them. There's a big difference, though. Post-industrial man has something that pre-agricultural man did not – processed sugar. We have learned to farm beets and sugar cane, and aided by advanced tools, to extract the pure sugar. We can use it to flavor everything from barbecue sauce to tiramisu to cough syrup to coffee. We can get sugar year round.

 

 

There's another adaptation we must consider. Our ancestors had to catch pretty much any protein they were going to consume. Protein came primarily from animals, and most of the animals we lived with were faster than us. To put it simply, it cost us a lot of calories to catch and kill our dinner. In addition, we were very seldom certain that we would find a meal tomorrow, or the day after. Food for us, like every other creature, was a hit and miss proposition. To that end, we developed a propensity for gorging. If there was a dead antelope by the fire, we consumed not just enough to sate our hunger, but as much as we possibly could, for that stored fat energy might well be the difference between a successful hunt in a week. It could literally be the difference between life and death.

By now, you've probably anticipated where I'm going with this. Very few humans expend energy in catching their food anymore. Not only that, but we get to eat our fill every day, and we add pure sugar to a large percentage of our food items. Our natural desire to gorge ourselves only compounds the problem.

According to the 2008 stat sheet from the American Heart Association, more than 9 million children under 19 years old are overweight. Nearly 14 percent of preschool children are overweight. Overweight adolescents have a 70 percent chance of remaining overweight as adults. Obesity increases as we reach adulthood. Among women between 30 and 40 years old, 34 percent are overweight. The link between obesity and myriad health problems is so well documented as to be incontrovertible.

The problem isn't just sugar. We also crave fat, for obvious reasons. Fat is one of the best ways to store energy in the body. Stored energy was crucial to our ancestors, but it is literally death to us today. Salt was an extremely precious commodity well into the modern human era. Today, it is available for a nickel a box at the supermarket, and is added to virtually everything we cook. Our ancient instincts have turned on us, and we are eating ourselves to death. Potato chips, candy, Big Macs, cheesecake, and All-You-Can-Eat Buffets are slowly and consistently killing us.

 

Our natural drives for sugar, salt, and fat, have been the catalyst for a fast food industry that is literally killing humans by the hundred thousands.  Clearly, just because our emotional desire for certain foods is natural, it's not necessarily good.

With sexuality, though, it's tougher.  For one thing, our emotional reaction to being denied a big mac is (hopefully) much less severe than being abandoned by our lover of ten years.  Some people will argue that human sexual emotions are so strong that our desire for monogamy is equivalent to "morally right."

This is special pleading, of course.  The strength of our emotional convictions is not a barometer for the strength of any moral imperative, nor does it provide any foundation for the formation of any worthwhile moral system.  Just think for half a second and you'll see why emotion is completely useless in any kind of moral system.  The whole point of morality in most cases is to do the right thing IN SPITE OF our emotional desire to do something else!

Here, we must pause.  Consider what I just said, and let the truth of it sink in.  Even good Christians will tell you that moral "systems" are designed to tell us what we should do even when our emotions disagree.  Think of a child who has no money in his pocket and really, really wants a candy bar from the grocery.  His mother teaches him, through a series of moral lessons, to refrain from stealing the candy bar AND to supress his anger at not getting what he wanted.

So, to suggest that the emotions involved in sex are so strong as to be considered immune from the very premise of moral discussion is absurd.  If we can look at our desire for sugar and realize that it needs to be tempered by reason, we can also look at our desire for monogamy and realize that just perhaps -- it's a remnant from another time in our evolutionary history, and that there is no hard fast rule that everybody needs one wife or husband.

Similarly, the desire to reproduce is extremely emotional, but we can say that reason allows us to conclude that some people ought not reproduce even though they have a very strong desire to do so.  This is reason over emotion.  It is the heart of morality.

Still, we are talking about morality -- not what is "natural."  This is where the second big hurdle comes in.  Is there any difference between what is natural and what is moral?  I suggest that there is not.  Bear with me, though, because that last sentence doesn't mean what you might think it means.  I view "natural" as a trick word.  Any behavior that a human is capable of is a "natural" behavior, simply because there's no alternative.  We were built by genes.  They are natural.  Without a supernatural soul, we can only regard everything as natural.

This is where that essay on murder and sugar comes in.  Once we remove "natural" from our vocabulary, we are forced into another paradigm.  Unfortunately, this is where a lot of Utopians have gone horribly, horribly wrong.  The French Revolution failed because politicians got a hold of the notion that sometimes the masses need to be forced into "Enlightenment Values."  Of course, very bad times follow when a government comes to this conclusion.

I suggest that only when we remove Utopianism from our vocabulary as well will we have any chance of achieving a very good society.  Perfect society is impossible for a variety of reasons which are not reasonably covered in a single blog post.

Having said that, we can look back at sexuality through the same lens.  Will most people opt for monogamous relationships?  Yes, I believe they will.  Most people will have babies "because it's the meaning of life" or some other such ad hoc explanation to try to rationalize the rush of emotions they feel after they become pregnant.  They will look at their mother and want to be like her out of the emotion of idolization and admiration.  They will see fathers as strong men of duty and responsibility.

There's nothing inherently wrong with any of this -- but there's also nothing inherently wrong with a nonmonogamous relationship either.  The lying and cheating that often go with monogamy are a result of the demand for monogamy, not an inherent part of nonmonogamy.  That is, people who know they can have sex with other people don't often lie about it.

Sorry for the length, but I think it's important to get all of that in mind before going on.  I've been married before, but only once.  To repeat your disclaimer, don't take this as bragging, but I feel like I learned my lesson the first time.  I've been divorced now for well over a decade, and except for a couple of low periods that had very little to do with where I was putting my penis, I've never felt like my life was less empty for not having a wife.  Then again, I'm definitely not an INTP, so I wouldn't expect your life to be much like mine in that regard.  I am a strong E, and make new friends very easily.  Typically, when I'm at home by myself it's because I want to be, not because I don't have anyone to call.

Curiously, my previous lengthy relationship (5 years-ish) was with a very attractive redhead who also happens to be bat shit crazy.  The more distance I get, the more I'm convinced she's a borderline sociopath, but that's neither here nor there.  Just interesting, I suppose.

Anyway, what I hope you're getting from all of this is that I believe one of the cruelest myths about humans is that love is forever.  It's not.  It's something that changes over time.  Sometimes, people enter our lives and leave them, and though we wouldn't want them back, we treasure the time we had with them.  Despite the fact that my marriage ended badly (she cheated on me -- a lot.) I would not trade the five good years with her even if I had to relive the one bad one.  We were amazing friends and very good lovers.  We just outgrew each other and went in different life directions.  Still, we were great for each other for that short time in both our lives.

As another autobiographical note, after I was divorced, I was not prepared to have a close relationship with a woman for some time.  I was very young, and my emotions were far from clear, and I had yet to own up to my own mistakes in the marriage.  During this time, I made friends with a remarkable young woman who visited her grandmother every couple of months.  The rest of the time, she lived over five hours from me.  I feel sorry for her grandmother because for most of a year, her visits included a perfunctory hello to her family followed by two or three days of pure physical lust with me.  Neither of us was ready for a relationship, but both of us needed the physical intimacy which had been suddenly removed from our lives.

After a year, it became obvious that our need for each other had waned and that we were both ready to move on.  We parted as friends, and as the years passed, we saw each other from time to time -- sans the horizontal mambo -- and were both thrilled to learn that we had each found ourselves in better emotional places.  In the same way that I wouldn't trade my time with my ex-wife, I wouldn't trade my time with this girl, who was obviously a rebound.  In fact, I'd suggest that we handled the situation very maturely, realizing that we were using each other for what we needed, but being ok with the arrangement.

I could recount my whole romantic history for you, but that's not the point.  I give these two illustrations because one is traditional and the other is not, and yet the result is the same.  During one part of my life, I found what I was currently ready for.  During another, I found what I needed.  Humans are not designed to have lives that perfectly parallel the life of a single soul mate.  We are dynamic creatures that change over time.  This is why we all tend to have stories of various loves that have come and gone.

This is normal.

As you can tell from my comments on monogamy, it is also reasonable that some people choose to have more than one sexual relationship at a time, and their partners are fine with it.  Kinsey was right... some people really do like both sexes, and it seems odd that because of a convention we would make everyone "settle" for one.  There are tons of other variations on monogamy, obviously, but the point is that it is backward thinking to suggest that everyone conform to a certain sexual ideal.  The more we learn about the science of human sexuality, the more we learn that there are lots of ways that people can find sexual, emotional, and romantic happiness.  Expecting ourselves -- just out of principle -- to be the exception rather than the rule is selfish and silly.

 

 

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 Note, I wrote this whole

 Note, I wrote this whole thing without reading #2 or #3.  Also, when I said expecting ourselves to be the exception is silly, I mean expecting ourselves to be the one out of a hundred that finds one person and keeps them until we die.

 

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 Gosh, I'm having a brain

 Gosh, I'm having a brain fart.  Somebody I've read has postulated the same thing about drugs/love.  It's a really interesting idea, although it certainly opens up several more areas of inquiry.

1) Do humans have (by way of metaphor) so many points of "addiction" to spread around?  That is, if someone has a metaphoric limit of a hundred addiction points, does that mean that once his brain has committed to a "relationship" with alcohol for 30 points, Suzy for 60 points, and work for 10 points, does he have no room for commitment left in his life?

2) Is the "love" felt by a heroine addict for his girlfriend quantitatively different than that of a teetotaler?  We should one day be able to answer this question rather definitively with new brain scan technology.

3) How much capability do people have for spreading love around?  I know plenty of women who keep a really hot boy toy for sex and have two or three less physically desirable nerds around for intellectual stimulation only (much to the dismay of the nerds!)  How far can we spread our emotional needs and still expect to have consistent contentment?

I must say that I think it's probably better to spread oneself around a little bit.  As an example, my current girlfriend sometimes gets down on herself because she feels like she doesn't have enough educational background to keep me interested in deep philosophical conversations.  The thing is, I have friends for that.  I don't need those discussions as part of our relationship, and in fact, it's really nice for me to be able to relax, have a beer, and NOT talk about religion or philosophy for a while.

Supposing that this relationship came to an end, I could still call up my friends and have deep conversations.  Those women I mentioned?  If either their boyfriend or their conversation date leaves them, they still have quite a lot.  The question becomes whether the sum of the parts is greater than the whole.  That is, when we get everything from one person (supposing that's really possible) do we get a greater happiness than if we get everything we need from three people?

I am coming to doubt whether it's good to get everything from one person.  You and I both know the dangers of codependency, and how easy it is for people to literally abandon all their friends when they've decided they've found "the one."  As you say, courting more would probably be a good thing, as courting is traditionally a rather public affair.

In fact, historically, the idea of getting total satisfaction from our mate is very recent.  One must question whether it's founded on ideology or fact.

 

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Some interesting posts there

Some interesting posts there Hamby,

 

That addiction metaphor is interesting, but I don't think it works.  The addicts that I have known seem to progress so that (to use your metaphor) they tend to develop more points over time.  I'm just thinking out loud here so please forgive me if this sounds slap-dash, but just off the top of my head.  I'm going to use the term "we" because I don't know anyone who does not do this - I think it's mostly a matter of degree.

 

There is a process in addiction where the person begins to invest in their relationship with the drug by defending it, covering for it, and making excuses for it, rationalizing it and lying about it.  All of these defensive processes take time energy and commitment on the part of the addict.  We have to remember their lies.  We have to make sacrifices in our relationships with our friends and families so that we can maintain the relationship with our addiction.  These are investments.

 

Abuse victims often go through a cycle where they are abused, and they separate from their abuser and they leave.  The abuser then comes at them with "hearts and flowers" where they treat them nicely and say that it's never going to happen again.

At this point the victim is faces with ending the relationship and going through the bereavement, or taking the person back.  If they take the person back they have now effectively decided that their welfare is not as important as the relationship.  Ironically they become dependent on their abuser to validate their sense of self-worth as they give away more and more of their power.  Each time they go through this cycle, their self worth diminishes, and the "bottom line" of what they are willing to put up with becomes more and more distorted and unhealthy. 

This is also what addicts do.  Just substitute the drug for the abuser and the addict for the victim.

 

using your points metaphor, it's like once they start spending their addiction points, they automatically open a line of credit that grants them more addiction points at interest.  It's like the federal reserve - you take out loans on interest that you can only pay off with more loans!

 

Once an addict "gets religion" they tend to use several basic psychological strategies to get off their drug.  The most obvious one is that they decide they don't need the drug any more because they are getting their love needs met through their "relationship with god" (aka the imaginary friend).  Usually this happens after a crisis of insight where they realize they are only going to die if they keep on going - there is a definite "change or die" mentality at this point. 

 

What I find interesting about this is that it's as if they had attached the love systems of their brains to the drug, and it's killing them.  Upon realizing this they use God as a sort of "relationship on the rebound" as a way of getting their love needs met without having to actually be in a relationship with another person.  This is actually quite functional because they are really not fit to have a relationship with a real human being at this point.  Drug addiction distorts and even damages your emotional response system.  On top of this, most addicts began their addiction as teen-agers, so they haven't learned basic emotional relationship skills.  Also, if an addict hasn't gotten his/her head on straight they will simply choose another addict to have a relationship with, which will result in their relapse. 

The relationship with god serves as a placebo for love, that helps them to remain emotionally un-attached as they go through recovery.  In addition, it gives them an instant support network in the form of the church.  Often the church will support them by meeting their basic needs as well as "giving them another chance" to establish a socially-acceptable identity and a modicum of status and self respect.

And all you have to do is believe in magic.

 

What the church doesn't tell you of course is that it is possible to quit your drug without them.  In fact I have seen it done many times.  The way that this works is that you work first on being honest.  This is one of the themes of the 12-steps, and it is the hardest part - but you can do it without the 12-step program.  Being honest Means accepting responsibility for your actions, stopping the denial and making a "fearless moral inventory" and making amends as best as you can.  The psychological processes associated with these goals are both simple and painful.  In fact being willing to suffer the pain of honesty is really the deciding factor in recovery IMO.

 

If you are an addict and you are honest with yourself, you have to admit that you are engaged in a behavior that is causing you and the people you love more suffering than it is causing you pleasure.  Then you have to look REAL HARD at what you are doing, how ashamed of yourself you really are and what is driving your shame.  Often this has to do with your psychological wounds, and of course your addiction is one of the causes of your psychological wounds (Homer Simpson:  "Beer the cause of and solution to all of life's problems!"  ).  Then you have to start looking at how you are relating with the world and start learning from your mistakes.  Gradually you learn how to be a grown up.  You stop wanting the drug because you have better things to do with your life, your love and your creativity.

 

Note that all of this is complicated by, but is more or less independent of, the process of physiological dependence.

 

Of course some people simply become functional addicts (Christopher Hitchens comes to mind), and they do fine living with their addiction.  So that's also an option for some, although one can argue that they are killing themselves slowly.

 


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 I'm not a big fan of the

 I'm not a big fan of the "points metaphor" either, but I do wonder if it has limited use.  Another metaphor that comes to mind is the brain as a computer.  It's flawed on a lot of levels, but most people have a basic understanding of how computers work, and that they're based on binary, so it becomes useful if not completely accurate.

For instance, you mention that many addicts essentially get points on credit.  Is that not equivalent to saying they have a certain number of points but extend themselves past their limit to their own detriment?

Like I said, it's just a metaphor for illustration, and I don't think neurologists will ever discover such a set limit.  Clearly brains are plastic enough to change significantly over a lifetime.  However, for someone battling addiction, it seems an easy illustration to show them that they're devoting so much of their energy to their addiction that they are losing a lot from other sources of "healthy addiction."

I suppose in the end it really does come down to time and energy, of which there are real limits -- points, if you like.  If I have to work two jobs to afford my drug habit that takes up another thirty hours, there simply isn't much time left.  Similarly, I'm spending all my energy.

I do see an awful lot of people using religion as a surrogate relationship, and I agree with you that it's useful to some people, particularly those fighting chemical addiction.  Astute readers will notice that I never say religion is useless or has no practical value.  I just say it causes far more harm than good.  Religion is very addictive in its own right, and the many negative consequences of buying into it outweigh the benefits of having a surrogate addiction.  Particularly when we're talking about people who have been poorly socialized in the first place (you are, of course, correct about the effects of teen addiction) it seems almost cruel to subject them to a religion that glorifies so many destructive beliefs and behaviors as does Christianity.

I also agree with you that self honesty is the most important thing for dealing with any kind of addiction.  Although, as an interesting little wrinkle, I'm sure you're aware of the well established finding that depressed people are often more aware of their own level of control over their environment than non-depressed people.  That is, many people blissfully go through life believing they're in control of themselves, and many depressed people realize just how little control they have.

Have you read my essay on free will?  I don't want to rehash much of that material, so if you haven't, give it a look and just apply that viewpoint to addiction, and you'll probably understand my position really well.

Free Will: Why we don't have it, and why that's a good thing.

 

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Cpt_pineapple wrote:Isn't

Cpt_pineapple wrote:
Isn't love delusional?

God is love. So, is this what Richard Dawkins means by the "God Delusion?"

"Scientists animated by the purpose of proving they are purposeless constitute an interesting subject for study." - Alfred North Whitehead