In the words of Isaiah Washington's character, Savon, and only one married in the 1997 movie classic, Love Jones, "When that Jones hits you. It's a mother-f#@!ker!" (I tried to find the exact quote, but Google couldn't help me...lol!). No one made it plainer than Dr. John Gray in his interview with me at the Statistics Be Darned hosted event, You Asked? Good Men Answered! His was a master class in the part biology plays in romance.
Dopamine, oxytocin and serotonin play a huge role in attraction and bonding. It's not a bad thing. You just have to be aware of it so you know how to handle it else the consequences can destroy everything. It's like fire. As long as you know how to handle it, fire is useful. The warmth feels good. The heat can bring comfort and relief. If you don't know the nature of it, it can be very destructive. It's the same with these chemicals. The ability to feel pleasure and reward is a gift. The problem comes when we don't know where the shut off switch is.
If you have fallen prey to love jones, don't despair. I have good news. Knowledge trumps the jones. That's why a vital part of my groups with DWI offenders was education. It's what Maya Angelou told Oprah. "When you know better, you do better." Here is some truth:
- When you meet someone you find attractive, you will get a rush. There is no way to avoid it. It is the biology of things.
- The high is not connection. It is chemical. So please don't confuse the two. It's too soon to know if you have made a "connection." You don't know after one great date that "he might be Mr. Right." (He just might be good at first impressions. Something that you can learn in school and become good at in your job, okay?) At best, your survival of the species instincts have kicked in and babymaking is on the table.
But how can you see straight when dopamine has you all fogged up?
That was my thought exactly as Dr. Gray broke it down during the interview. Like a 5-star general trained in love and war, his romantic intelligence about dopamine was so good I had to compile some of the highlights in a book.