Been neglecting the blog a bit this week, yet again. Probably because I’ve been getting high. High on that Love drug anyway. I’ve been spending entirely too much time sitting around messaging my friend and enjoying the euphoric buzz of fantasizing about someone. Yeah, unfortunately I’m still on that stupid kick and can’t seem to shake it. Hello my lovely endorphins and this is so much easier and more enjoyable than, say, working out.
A fantasy can be so much better than reality. My fantasy my partner is perfect, he understands everything about me, he can read my mind and know exactly what I need when I need it. In my fantasies there aren’t any fights that don’t end with great make-up sex, my boo is never sick or grouchy or just plain irritable for no reason. I’m just as perfect in my fantasies; I don’t say or do things that hurt my partner, I’m always happy, I’m super witty and everything I cook turns out amazing. Fantasies are fun, I guess that’s what makes poorly written romance novels such big sellers. The problem with fantasies is that they are by definition fantastic.
fan·ta·sy ˈfan(t)əsē/ noun
the faculty or activity of imagining things, especially things that are impossible or improbable
fan·tas·tic fanˈtastik/ adjectiv
extraordinarily good or attractive.
(Thanks dictionary.com for reminding me that sometimes I’m an idiot.) Having a crush on someone is the act of imagining something extraordinarily good that is also most likely improbable or impossible. The funny part is that knowing logically that fantasy is simply fantasy doesn’t stop the brain from producing all those annoying neurochemical reactions that make us wobbly in the knees with butterflies in our tummies. “Love” is really annoying like that! Or maybe neurochemicals are just annoying like that? I have long standing battle with all the different neurochemicals in my brain so I think I will just stick with blaming them
Love seems like an appropriate topic with Valentine’s Day coming up this week. The over-hyped, commercialized “love” day or Singles Awareness Day (SAD) if you prefer. Since I’ve been feeling all crushy this week and working hard to convince myself that I AM NOT it’s got me thinking about what makes love, well, love. We all go through that crush phase when we meet someone. We are absolutely twitterpated, everything is great, our new partner can do no wrong. Suddenly we’re in love with life again and life revolves around that person. The sun is brighter, the air is sweeter, birds are chirping everywhere for no apparent reason. (check the last post link for why love is like smoking crack)
Not only does our dopamine and norepinephrine conspire against us, just be careful handing out your hugs. Turns out hugging someone for twenty seconds can raise the level of oxytocin in your system. Oxytocin, also known as “the cuddle hormone”, now joins the army of bodily functions conspiring against your better senses. The body produces oxytocin when mothers breast feed their babies. Scientists believe oxytocin helps mothers bond with their newborn. Want to know what else makes the body produce oxytocin? Orgasms. Yup, the body produces a hormone that makes people cuddly and bonded after being intimate. Oxytocin effects both men and women, there is no escape! Nature has prepared us a wonderful chemical cocktail for the purpose of perpetuating our species. It tastes great and it gets you really fucked up!
As an addict I’ve always enjoyed the love cocktail. In my twenties I jumped from one relationship to the other because I always felt like when the “high” was gone I must not be in love anymore. Obviously I’m over simplifying; low self-esteem, mood disorder, codependency and a variety of other issues led to my general flakiness but the bottom line-I wanted the high to last forever.
I don’t think it’s entirely my fault, I do feel like our culture perpetuates the notions of “true love” and “happily ever after” and sets an impossible ideal for relationship perfection. That’s part of my excuse, anyway. Whatever the reason, I have not had a lot of experience with serious, long term relationships. I’ve been in two relationships that lasted over two years, one being my current relationship. I suppose that isn’t all that bad, I’ve known people with worse track records than me.
It seems to me that eventually, no matter how in love you are, the crush high will wear off. So, what comes after the crush? What is love after all the fireworks are over and it’s time to go home? If you have five minutes this is very interesting (and quick) article on those love chemicals:
Since I’ve been in recovery I have been trying my best not to think with my addiction when it comes to my relationships. I’ve thought that maybe I don’t feel the “rush” from my relationship anymore but that I should be building something stronger than that. After the neurochemical party is over shouldn’t there be a partnership? Now I find myself questioning that partnership, questioning why I really stay in my current relationship. Do I have a good partnership or am I just too afraid of change?
These thoughts have been frightening if I’m honest. If I’m very honest these thoughts make want to drink more than anything. If I’m totally honest these thoughts have made me drink, more than once, in the past. Really would like a drink right now. Really would like to escape into a fantasy and not have to debate these thoughts at all.
Think I’ll have to continue this post later. I’m getting a little tired and I feel like I’m about to launch into some boring and tedious thought loops about love and happiness. Let’s do that later. For now, let’s embrace fantasy love for the sake of Valentine’s day. Perfect, happy, cutesy love that comes in a heart shaped box with a guaranteed Happily Ever After or your money back!