Poets describe it as a kind of 3rd entity, like it captured someone…or someone caught it.
As giddy as love feels, what if I told you that you were responsible for the swooning feelings of love that seemed to have appropriated your senses? Like a great chef creating a wonderful stew, you have put all the ingredients into the pot. Time and temperature have their influences too—yet nothing would be there to cook without your initial configuration.
Here’s how it works. We automatically categorize all of the experiences with another person and are constantly assessing whether the experiences tally up against our subconscious love list. The heart’s hidden lock opens to the feelings of love when the right amount of experiences takes place with another person and the love list gets checked off.
The high from that initial rush of love is so intoxicating, that it’s no wonder we persist in playing the dating game in order to crack the heart’s code. Our reactions to the properly sequenced code are a forgone conclusion. It’s a pact we made in adolescence, listening to our families, friends, and watching endless romantic movies, and listening to similar narratives applied to an array of musical beats. We were conditioned and we are conditioned to playing the love game. No wonder it feels like a third-person. It is. We disconnect from our conscious mind and go into reactive conditioning mode. We follow and our head doesn’t understand. But, our body and soul have been so trained. They leave our shocked, misunderstood logical brain behind in the dust. It’s almost primal. We lose control because we never had it. It’s simply our pre-wired reactions taking over, almost like in hypnosis.
Oftentimes, women tend to react stronger to love because they have engaged in more of the narratives than men, which is one reason romance movies get dubbed a “chick flick.” Men’s narratives are more diluted with other “manly/non-emotional” narratives, so they don’t get as lost in the primal reactions. However, they are more likely to get swept up in the primal reactive conditioning of sex. They are trained from birth to ogle a woman’s body and seek pleasure from it. This might explain why women, generally, prefer romance and men prefer sex. But take note that our times are changing and the narratives are also changing, so we may be experiencing a lot of blurred roles and role reversal.
Blurred roles or not, love’s checklist is pretty consistent. Think about your own dating experience and notice how dates that made you feel in love included the following:
> Trust gets established by sharing personal information, maybe where some pain has been involved
> Trust is reciprocated by complete acceptance of shared story, along with nonjudgment & support
> A cat and mouse game is played to find the perfect compatible dance (one party will shirk if the other comes on too strong and vice versa…proper balance is determined through light jesting, debating, teasing, etc.)
> Showing acceptable vulnerability and caretaking responses
> Painting an image of future goals to see if there’s a shared match/compatibility between both pictures
> Physical and intellectual compatibility
The heart unlocks (or primal conditioning kicks in) when these items are checked off. Note - Both parties must feel and meet conditions or else it is infatuation.
Like that simmering stew, these conditions require consistency. Anything that deviates from the picture (an inconsistency, warning signs, etc.) can get immediately dismissed to maintain the illusion of love or it can result in shutting off the feelings of love altogether. For instance, cognitive dissonance (denial) may prevent the mind from engaging to keep the intoxicating feelings of love in place. Conversely, the heart will close and love will evaporate if inconsistencies are examined or when items on the checklist begin to get unchecked (e.g. picture of future isn’t compatible anymore, support has been removed, judgment/criticism takes hold). Logic supersedes primal conditioning and the people move on. This can happen within as little as 10 minutes to as long as 10 or more years. The key is that love can only thrive when the condition of love’s checklist are met.
In closing, consider these conditions if you are in love, falling in love, or looking for love. They comprise the secret formula to a successful relationship and the gift of giddiness that complete love brings. Being aware of your hidden checklist also allows you to appreciate love from the logical, emotional and primal brain. Being aware from all of these perspectives may also help you overcome any denial that is keeping you in a false love/infatuated/dangerous love situations. Remember you are not a victim or a hostage of love—you are the Chef and master of your heart’s love.