Thursday, December 01, 2005

That's Amoré (For Now ...)

From Reuters:

Molecule gives passionate lovers just one year

ROME (Reuters) - Your heartbeat accelerates, you have butterflies in the stomach, you feel euphoric and a bit silly. It's all part of falling passionately in love -- and scientists now tell us the feeling won't last more than a year.

The powerful emotions that bowl over new lovers are triggered by a molecule known as nerve growth factor (NGF), according to Pavia University researchers.

The Italian scientists found far higher levels of NGF in the blood of 58 people who had recently fallen madly in love than in that of a group of singles and people in long-term relationships.

But after a year with the same lover, the quantity of the 'love molecule' in their blood had fallen to the same level as that of the other groups.

The Italian researchers, publishing their study in the journal Psychoneuroendocrinology, said it was not clear how falling in love triggers higher levels of NGF, but the molecule clearly has an important role in the "social chemistry" between people at the start of a relationship.

You'd think the Italians would just shut the hell up about something so unromantic. But as Harry Burns says in "When Harry Met Sally ...", "Oh no, what are we gonna do? It's already out there!"

I'm sure the results of this Italian study don't really come as a surprise to anyone. Everyone's been in relationships that are great until they aren't anymore. I suppose it's what you do at that point that counts.

College Boyfriend David once asked (when we were no longer dating), "Why can't people just accept that we're not meant to be with one person for the rest of our lives? Why can't we just be with someone for as long as things are good and then move on?"

Well, no one's stopping him, right? You can do that. Many people do. Applying the findings of our Italian friends, "things are good" for about a year and then reality sets in, at which point you can bail and start looking for the next good thing, or you can understand that there's more to a relationship than the honeymoon phase and choose to devote your life to someone.

Of course, I'm one to talk, Ms. Never Been Married, but I read something a few months ago that really resonated with me, and it was a quote by Madonna, of all people. She was talking about marriage and said, "It’s taken me a long time to realize what the whole point of marriage is, and I don’t think it has anything to do with our romantic notions—like walks together, and sending flowers to one another, and bringing up children together. Those are all manifestations, but the whole point of marriage is for each and every one of us to learn how to get along with one person, and to learn to love that person unconditionally. And if you can do it with one person, then your whole attitude toward the world and humanity can change."

Learning to love one person unconditionally. After the love hangover has dissolved into the everyday grind. Not for as long as it's good, but forever.


Blogger Dave said...

God, this is just as bad as all of those studies telling us that everything we eat will give us cancer. But can we we find a measure of irony that it's the Italians telling us this crap? Was "Roman Holiday" just a terrible lie?

Well, one year is a lot better than nothing ...

1:03 AM  
Blogger Beth said...

No, I think "Roman Holiday" was legit. But as G said the other night, "You never see the story of 'Cinderella' once she ends up with the prince." Good point. People don't want to see the day-to-day, they just want the fairy tale.

8:45 AM  
Blogger Aarwenn said...

Just followed your name to this blog from a comment on mine--and now, having read your blog, I'm honored! Can I be you when I grow up?

3:25 PM  
Blogger Beth said...

Ohmygod, how nice is that? You're terribly sweet to ask, but I'm afraid the answer is "no." I must insist that you stay the same fabulous woman you already are.

3:45 PM  

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