BY ELISA WALLACE
Love. The word alone has led to countless debates. What is the true meaning of “love”? For centuries artists have dedicated their craft to unraveling the mystery of what makes love so powerful. Yet to anyone in the past who has been burned by this four letter word, it seems much safer to give up on love. Those who have been through a breakup, know firsthand how painful it can be. As Gabriel Garcia Marquez says, “perhaps this is what stories meant when they called somebody heartsick.” Marquez explains, “your heart and your stomach and your whole insides felt empty and hollow and aching.”
If love can be so toxic, why should we not give up on love? Why should its victims give it another chance? The science of love can answer why it can benefit your health to let your guard down and let love take over.
According to research recently conducted by Syracuse Professor Dr. Stephanie Ortigue, the feelings associated with love can happen within a fifth of a second of meeting someone. In the article, “Why does love feel so good?” Ortigue explains that, “Romantic feelings originate not in the heart, but in the brain.” Ortigue goes on to detail how, “When you fall in love, twelve areas of the brain sync up to release ‘happy’ chemicals like oxytocin, dopamine and adrenaline.” However, this is not to discredit those romances that take longer to develop. There are some people that develop feelings over time, yet “realizing we were attracted to them feels like an epiphany…the euphoria was just as striking.”
If this is not enough to make one want to give love a chance, read on for ten extra reasons why it can be a good thing to let cupid’s arrow hit you.
Reason #1: You can heal your broken heart. Contrary to what you may believe, you can take steps every day to move forward from a breakup. While there is no magic elixir to take away the pain, through taking the time to heal and believing the best about yourself, you will naturally move forward. That new light within you will naturally attract a better match.
Reason #2: Love is all around us. You never know what may be just around the corner from you. While you have to allow yourself to properly heal after a tough heartbreak, romance can take place at any time and any place.
Reason #3: You can learn from the past. Your past mistakes in love can actually help you find a stronger and more stable relationship. When you learn from the past and can let it go, it is easier to attract what you do want instead.
Reason #4: Everything takes work in life. Nothing in life is easy. Dating while you are in your 20s is easy, because you meet people often through school, work, bars, etc. When you get older, you have to work at meeting people, but this shouldn’t stop you! Staying socially active can help you meet your future love!
Reason #5: Fear is natural, but not forever. It is completely understandable that you may be scared to give love another chance. However, if we constantly put up our emotional armor, we may defend ourselves against a great potential match. We have to be open to love to find it.
Reason #6: You do deserve true love. The biggest issue with dating is that after someone is rejected, they begin to doubt that they are lovable. Do not believe this. Just because one person doesn’t choose you, doesn’t mean the right person won’t.
Reason #7: Think outside the box. After a tough breakup, it is time to reevaluate the qualities that make up your “Mr. or Ms. Right.” Consider whether there may be a pattern of negative qualities in your past partners. Take a chance by looking for new personality qualities, and get ready for a wonderful surprise.
Reason #8: You have the power to change your point of view. We can rewire our minds to be open to love. Practicing a hopeful outlook will increase your endorphins, which leads to an elevated mood that ultimately attracts love. To do so means being open to blind dates, accepting invitations to events, and being open to meeting new people.
Reason#9: It can make everything looks, taste and feel better. Think about how amazing everything is when you’re in the midst of being “in love.” The sky is a brighter shade of blue. Your morning latte has an extra delicious kick. You push easily past your normal running time of three miles. Love always looks good on people.
Reason #10: As humans, we are wired for love. Blame it on our genetic makeup. As human beings, we naturally seek companionship. According to Dr. Pepper Schwartz, Ph.D., Professor of Sociology at the University of Washington, “Our drive for union is part of our species, as it is for almost all mammals.” He adds, “Our survival is more likely when we bond to another and face the world as a team.”