From Kesta's Love, Dating, and Relationship Advice Column with Jazmin Moral
Why Do We Need Love?
How much do we really know about love? Why do we pursue it so badly? And what about monogamy, I mean, can you really have hot sex with the same person for 30 years?
Well, you’ll be happy to know we now have answers to ALL these questions (backed by years of solid research). You’ll get the cliff notes here, but for more in-depth information I highly recommend the new book “Love Sense: The Revolutionary New Science of Romantic Relationships,” by Dr. Sue Johnson.
Sex is great for reproduction, but from an evolutionary perspective love is what’s essential for our species to survive. Love is what bonds our caretakers to us when we are born- so that they don’t just leave the loud, crying, needy, newborn to fend for himself. As humans, our number one instinct is to seek a comforting connection (not sex or aggression, as society seems to suggest sometimes). We are all born with this drive to seek comfort from others, and that need doesn’t go away when we reach adulthood. Technically, romantic love is an ordered evolutionary recipe for the survival of our species. I know, that doesn’t sound very sexy, but doesn’t it make perfect sense? Back in the caveman days who had a higher chance of surviving? The lone caveman? Or those who always had each others’ back and warned each other if danger was coming, or shared food, and cared for each other when sick?
In our society there is so much emphasis on being independent and self-sufficient that the need for connection, or the need to depend on a loved one is often viewed as a sign of weakness. In reality, the opposite is true, emotional support actually lowers blood pressure, and bolsters the immune system. In fact, a close emotional connection is the strongest predictor of happiness (even stronger than winning the lottery!)
I know it seems hard to believe...
Here’s another revelation….monogamy is actually our natural state! Hot sex doesn’t lead to secure love, secure love leads to hot sex. Our bodies actually produce chemicals that bond us firmly to our loved ones, one of them is oxytocin (aka “the cuddle hormone”), which is released during both breastfeeding and orgasm. Several studies have shown that the thrill in a couple’s sex life can last indefinitely. Sexual satisfaction for both men and women increases with emotional commitment and sexual exclusivity. The key is finding the right person.
So there you have it, this mysterious, elusive thing called love- is actually not that mysterious at all. It’s essential to our survival, we are wired for it, and monogamy can be hot. So why are relationships so hard then? Ah, that’s for another column.
Above column is a reprint from Kesta Magazine-Valentine February Edition-Love, Dating & Relationship Advice with Jazmin Moral
Jazmin Moral www.jazminmoral.com is a licensed clinical social worker practicing in Rockville. This column is meant for entertainment only and should not be considered a substitute for professional counseling. If you have a love, dating, or relationship question, send it to us via our confidential online form at www.kestadc.com/love.