Wednesday, February 15, 2006

The Daily Brew (06.0215)

Wednesday's Brew*

Flavor du Jour: Romance Addiction

by special corresblogdent, Lynellen

Valentine’s Day in America currently involves giving cards, candy, and flowers to a special someone. The focus is on romance. Whether you love Valentine’s Day or hate it as an artificial holiday, the day is a big retail occasion in addition to a social event that can cause anxiety and depression in those without a special someone. For at least one day per year, America is addicted to romance.

Newly highlighted secular science confirms what several Christian ministries have been saying for years: the feelings of “romantic love” can be addicting . Christian author and licensed family and marriage counselor Dr. Doug Weiss has been explaining the neurobiology of love, lust, and sex for years. In this new secular study, anthropologist Helen Fisher concludes that romantic love feelings stimulate the same areas of the brain as other potentially addicting rewards/reinforcements such as chocolate , money , and drugs.

It turns out that feelings of romantic love are just a flood of dopamine in the brain. As Fisher points out, “emotions come and go,” and “the early characteristics of romantic love don’t last forever – the pounding heart, the obsessive thinking and craving – in good relationships they will transfer to a different level, a stage of love called ‘attachment’”. “Infatuation” is another term for these feelings of romantic love that have not matured into genuine attachment, and it seems that far too many teens and young adults haven’t been taught the difference!

Unfortunately, in our instant gratification culture, too many people act on these transient brain floods by getting physically involved. Especially on romantic holidays like Valentine’s Day, or other romantic occasions like Prom Dance. In “Wedding Crashers”, the plot outline focuses on two womanizers who crash weddings in order to find girls overcome by the romantic aura of the event so that the men can seduce them. While predators this extreme may not be overly common, in my peer counseling at a pregnancy center I have noted that we get a surge of girls coming for pregnancy tests about 2 weeks after any major holiday and any given high school dance weekend.

I understand that many people are confused about “abstinence-only” education classes for our young people, but don’t you think we should at least be teaching them about the neurobiology of infatuation and romantic feelings? What are your thoughts?

(* Note: The Daily Brew attempts to engage ideas and address contemporary themes with truthful and relevant principles for the purpose of positively impacting our culture.)

The Daily Brew is also percolating at Don Surber, Diane's Stuff, Third World County, Stuck on Stupid, Basil's Blog

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