Chemistry attraction to me is communicated nonverbally, primarily by expression, and I think all our adult understanding and experience of this goes back to our experience of attachment behaviors, the glances and gazes and conversations we had with mom and dad when we were a freshly or not so freshly diapered infant. This was before we had words of course, so tone of voice, expression, prosody, loudness, proximity, expression, ect. were tools that infants used to communicate.
Those dyadic attunements, as attachment expert Allan Schore calls them, were the key to the babies brain growth and development and survival.
Those interactions keyed the hormone oxytocin, which is the hormone associated with the milk let down response in mom, and interestingly enough, Helen Fisher, Ph.D. is discovering that oxytocin plays a role in adult romantic love.
An important component of the attachment process was the synchronization of heart beats between baby and mom until the baby could learn to do that for themselves, and self-soothe.
Robert Epstein, Ph.D. is now advocating that couples work on heart rate synchrony as part of their intimacy building skills.
I was actually delighted to read Epstein's ideas because I have done something very similar in my office, using a heart rate variability biofeedback tool called Heartmath to help my clients synchronize heart beats and derive a heart beat of the relationship, which must be attended to if it is to stay in synchrony.
How Do You Know...
that someone is seeing you as attractive or experiencing the chemistry of attraction?
Answering that question is more an overall experience, than one that is open to a description of discrete behaviors.
That is according to the scientists who are attempting to tease out the dance we do once we feel the chemistry of attraction. They say that our attraction is a function of mirroring behaviors cued by the female, and the scientists studying speed dating say the results of that experience are definitely dyadic, created by the two participants, so the chemistry of attraction does not depend on my aftershave or cologne, so now I do not feel so guilty for not buying any more Canoe or Aramis, which I used to sprinkle on my love letters to JoAnn when I was a freshman in college.
When I ask the men in my domestic violence psychoeducation counseling program to describe the signals sent by their partner that told them she was interested, few of them could give me a detailed answer describing her behaviors, but almost all of them could describe how they felt when they thought they were getting that message.
That feeling is one of excitement and is very similar to the phsyiology of conflict, by the way.
So if I were a guessing man, and I wanted someone to feel some chemistry of attraction, I would mirror her posture, look at her eyes, ask a friendly question, and wait for the response.
Helen Fisher, Ph.D. says that we humans, when we are looking for chemistry attraction, will begin our evaluation prospects, and the first criterion is physical attraction, and the judgement will take all of one second.
Next your intended will listen to the sound of your voice, and your vocabulary will be judged for its similarity to hers, it the male is approaching the female.
The voice process can take a few minutes.
If a female wants to find if a male is experiencing chemistry of attraction, she will adopt her behaviors to the male brain which is programmed to begin the mating dance when it perceives attractiveness.
So if we make it through the very brief evaluation process involved in the chemistry of attraction, our human brain may activate any or all of the systems that Professor Fisher says are involved in romantic love, each of which is associated with a particular hormone or neurotransmitter, and we may be off to the romantic love races for up to three years.
At some point though, the romantic love process that Professor Fisher has studied wears off, and we are left with a decision to make, whether to grow the relationship into a mature love, which has the same brain activity as the romantic love brain, minus the anxiety, but plus the calmness,(Think Heartmath), or end the relationship.
Dr. Fisher says that we have the best chance of building the mature and deeply satisfying love if we begin our chemistry of attraction process with a compatible personality type, and the best way to find folks of a compatible personality type is to take her personality quiz at Chemistry.com.
Having been through the love wringer a few times, like all adults, I am not so sure that I believe anyone system can make the sometimes rocky experience of chemistry attraction less risky, but Dr. Fisher has looked at some in-love brains, some out-of-love brains, and some long-time-in-love brains in an fMRI or functional magnetic imaging machine and has been able to see some patterns.
So there is a rhyme and reason to this experience which everyone has gone through, which makes you crazy for awhile?
It appears that there is, and I for one applaud that. Hope I can get my youngsters to pay attention to it. The boy will be 12 soon.
If you want to try out the Fisher personality profile, click here, and then check our Heartmath, for tools to access your affiliative and cooperative heart brain.
Would You Share What You Are Most Grateful For?
Very early in my personal growth experience, a wise person taught me to use the phrase "gratitude is the attitude" when I was resentful or afraid and that phrase has helped me feel better tens of thousands of times.