Mere alcohol doesn't thrill me at all
So tell me why should it be true
That I get a kick out of you
- Cole Porter
Neuroscientists would direct the songwriter to the ventral tegmental region of the brain. When people fall in love, that's where the gray matter sizzles.
This fits nicely with Porter's reference to champagne. The brain circuits that engage when you can't concentrate on anything but the next rendezvous are the same ones involved in addiction.
You really do get hooked on that feeling.
But it doesn't last, right?
Conventional wisdom says love fades. Research has also found that romantic love steadily declines each year, falling most sharply in the first 10 years, according to a recent article in the Wall Street Journal.
Yet some long-married couples can be seen holding hands and exchanging what appear to be longing glances.
Who are they kidding?
Research is showing that brain scans of these folks reveal activity in both the "in-love" ventral tegmental center and another part of the brain that appears linked to long-term relationships and bonding. It's called the ventral pallidum.
The ripening of love, as Rhett Butler might have put it, does not have to supplant that can't-get-enough excitement.
What's more, the research suggests people can cultivate that old magic.
Arthur Aron, social psychologist at the State University of New York at Stony Brook, has studied these things for years.
He says the brain's taste for novelty is the key.
He designed experiments to test the theory, according to a recent article in the New York Times. In one, some couples were assigned to simply walk around the room, while other couples were required to crawl across the floor pushing a ball as they went.
The couples who crawled reported higher levels of love and satisfaction after the exercise. The walkers reported no change.
The scientists think this has something to do with injecting novelty into a marriage.
We think it might be something best described by the songwriters.
Even if the goal is silly, that sense of working together for a common purpose brings out the spirit of "You and Me Against the World."
And that's the stuff of hearts and flowers.
Now I wish to define true love in the only way that makes sense to me. I know that true love is a divine feeling that enables us to really understand a little snippet of true love that God has for us. How lucky we are to feel this in our lives....
Whether love for a friend, love for a brother or sister, mom or dad or the person I end up committing my life to...love is an incredible feeling and should be treated as such.
The Great Commandment
by Joseph B. Wirthlin
"Sometimes the greatest love is not found in the dramatic scenes that poets and writers immortalize. Often, the greatest manifestations of love are the simple acts of kindness and caring we extend to those we meet along the path of life.
True love lasts forever. It is eternally patient and forgiving. It believes, hopes, and endures all things. That is the love our Heavenly Father bears for us.
We all yearn to experience love like this. Even when we make mistakes, we hope others will love us in spite of our shortcomings—even if we don’t deserve it.
Oh, it is wonderful to know that our Heavenly Father loves us—even with all our flaws! His love is such that even should we give up on ourselves, He never will.
We see ourselves in terms of yesterday and today. Our Heavenly Father sees us in terms of forever. Although we might settle for less, Heavenly Father won’t, for He sees us as the glorious beings we are capable of becoming."
Jeffrey R. Holland
"The first element of divine love—pure love—taught by both Paul and Mormon is its kindness, its selfless quality, its lack of ego and vanity and consuming self-centeredness. “Charity suffereth long, and is kind, [charity] envieth not, and is not puffed up, seeketh not her own” (Moro. 7:45).
The second segment of this scriptural sermon on love in Moroni 7:45 [Moro. 7:45] says that true charity—real love—“is not easily provoked, thinketh no evil, and rejoiceth not in iniquity.”
Think of how many arguments could be avoided, how many hurt feelings could be spared, and, in a worst-case scenario, how many breakups and divorces could be avoided if we were not so easily provoked, if we thought no evil of one another, and if we not only did not rejoice in iniquity but didn’t rejoice even in little mistakes.
Think the best of each other, especially of those you say you love. Assume the good and doubt the bad.
Third and last, the prophets tell us that true love “beareth all things, believeth all things, hopeth all things, endureth all things” (Moro. 7:45). Once again that is ultimately a description of Christ’s love—He is the great example of One who bore and believed and hoped and endured. We are invited to do the same in our courtship and in our marriage to the best of our ability. Bear up and be strong. Be hopeful and believing. Some things in life we have little or no control over. These have to be endured. These are not things anyone wants in life, but sometimes they come. And when they come, we have to bear them; we have to believe; we have to hope for an end to such sorrows and difficulty; we have to endure until things come right in the end."