Are you missing romantic relationship, or perhaps you want to add some romance to your relationship?
It is certainly the time of year when we turn our attention to romance, and there are some very interesting models for adding romance to relationships. There is some science to them now, not just the hopeful words of a guru or maven.
In particular, I am referring to the landmark work of Helen Fisher, Ph.D. who has put some 'in-love' brains through the unflinching eye of a fMRI or functional magnetic resonance imaging machine.
What Fisher has discovered is that romantic relationship is the function of three parts of the brain's reward system, the lust, love, and trust systems, each governed by a particular hormone and/or neurotransmitter, and Fisher's work also indicates that we have the best chance for romantic relationships if we work to have romantic chemistry with the right personality type.
From her studies of genetics and neuroscience, Fisher has come to believe that people fall into four broad personality types—each influenced by a different brain chemical: she calls them the Explorer, Builder, Director, and Negotiator.
Fisher says that with her additional data from the responses from her Oprah survey, she can offer scientific guidance about dating depending on which personality you are—especially if you're looking for chemistry that lasts.
Although at first blush, this scientific modeling of what every one of us has gone through or wants to go through seems a bit sterile, I am still relieved that there can be an order to it, because I grew up the Disney model, which requires the Fairy Godmother's intervention or the Hefner model which was an early take on the Nike slogan, "Just do it".
Knowing that with Fisher's model I can minimize the potential for disappointment provides a sense of relief.
One of the nice things about Fisher's personality types and her work is that it acknowledges something about the male brain, and how it operates.
Her description of how men sit next to their friends while they both silently face the enemy is exactly how I like to work with my male colleagues, and her description of how women do intimacy is extremely helpful for this male brain.
In other words, I and the object of my romantic attraction can build in both types of intimacy, keeping lots of the oxytocin, androgen, and dopamine running in our brains.
I became particularly aware of how my brain works in relationship with other men as a college student working nights with a buddy to load and unload coke trucks.
Kenny and I could do our shifts and go home with minimal conversation, and we actually took some pride in simply knowing what had to be done next, and doing it.
It was always a mystery to us when the women in our lives wanted to do things face to face.
Now I know that the objects of my youthful romantic relationships were not trying to confound me, but help me achieve romance, but with a different brain than mine.
So are you curious about which personality type your are? Then you should click on the link below to begin the process of maximizing your romantic relationship pleasure.
And once you have your romantic relationship chemistry started, you may want to begin to look ahead to another of Professor Fisher's discoveries, that many couples still have that same brain chemistry going years, even decades later, except the long term couples fMRI scans do not show activation in the anxiety parts of the brain.
The calmness parts of the brains in the partners in long term relationships are more active.
So I suggest that couples early in romantic relationship do some things to activate calmness.
Robert Epstein,Ph.D., says that couple should schedule time to work on intimacy exercises, like soul gazing or heart beat synchronization.
I was actually quite excited to Epstein's mention of heart beat synchronization, because I have done that with clients using a computerized heart rate variability biofeedback program called Heartmath.
Using Heartmath, folks learn to manage the time between heart beats, which keeps them calm, cool, and collected and able to access their heart's intelligence, which is a cooperative and affiliative intelligence.
Once couples learn Heartmath individually, then can learn to attend to the heart beat of the relationship heart beat by heart beat rather than crises by crises, in other words they build in calmness, affiliation, and cooperation from the get-go.
I know that heart beat by heart beat chemistry tends to minimize intervention from the Fairy Godmother and maximize the potential for the "Just Do It" part of marriage.
For videos and information about Heartmath, check the link In the right column.
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.
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