March 8th, 2009: Life's Big Questions: Is love nothing more than a chemical reaction?
I'll start this with a bit of a forewarning: I'm the cynic of most groups. I'm really skeptical about emotion, tend to fall on the side of the hyper-rational, and have been known to use logical arguments to reason myself through some decently heart-wrenching situations. Life tends to be easier when you can compartmentalize your way through the hard times.
What this means is that I tend to think that the idea of romantic love is a little hokey. And in saying that, I can feel the burning eyes of the romantics in my life turning towards me in scorn. Yes, I've been in love. Yes, it was fool of googly eyes and butterflies and staring at each other all day because we loved each other sooooOOOoooOOooo much that we even overcame the barf reflex from all that lovey-dovey-ness.
Unfortunately, that kind of love isn't really what I think love ever evencould be. I think it's easy to attribute love to the hyper-romantic version that, for some reason, seems to be idealized. And the endorphins that are set off when people become attracted to each other, during the phase of falling in love, are basically like one massive high, that tends to last about a year. So if you're talking the head-over-heels googly love, I think it's purely chemical. It's getting really jacked up on someone else and being entirely overwhelmed by the rush of chemicals swimming in your brain. That's real, but it's not real love.
I do think love exists, though. It has to. It's the kind of thing that's in every choice you make- choosing to care about someone above all others. Choosing to love someone not in spite of their flaws, but because of them. Choosing to stay with someone, day after day, even after that overwhelming euphoria has ended.
If love exists, it's the mundane-ness of daily life. Falling in love is just the chemical process you need to get to the place where you decide- is this someone you can spend your life (or at least some part of it) with, or isn't it?