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Culture & Religion

The Neuroscience of Romantic Love

While the selling of ideals for romantic love may contain elements of authentic love, they largely consist of myths and social order politics that jam the brain and body’s communication network.

What’s the Latest Development?

While Valentine’s Day is behind us, in a more profound sense, it is always put in front of us. On the screen, the magazine page or the billboard advertisement, romantic ideals often posit either-or categories that prevent a more complete understanding of love, says Dr. Athena Staik: “Either-or thinking patterns form of a view of life, self and partner, that is black-and-white. They are, in essence, a learned way of ‘should’ thinking in which we continuously think about what ‘has to’ happen…or else, or judge (shame) ourselves, or those around us, as either deserving or undeserving of love.”

What’s the Big Idea? 

How do the images of love we are presented with by the beauty industry affect our actual ability to love each other? According to Dr. Staik, they constrain our ability to communicate to others what we truly mean by ‘love’. “The answers to the questions of what it means to be a man or a woman, what it means to be emotionally or sexually intimate should not imprison—and rather personally free—both sexes to relate in humanizing ways. You can connect to the miracle making resources inside you, identify the limiting beliefs that ‘blocks’ that govern your behavior—then replace these fears with new thoughts, attitudes, beliefs and images.”


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