Love is one of the most basic and extraordinary phenomena that have captured our collective imagination and our hearts. People love love, as fiction shows us time and again.
Cinderella always ends up with Prince Charming.
Aragorn always ends up with Arwen.
Simba always ends up with Nala.
Romeo always ends up with Juliet (unless she dies, I guess. [Spoilers!])
And so on and so forth, ‘till the end of time. Because love is Meant to Be, and there can be only one! Right?
Well, not exactly.
The chemical cocktail that we call love is an accumulation of endorphins, dopamine, adrenaline, serotonin, and oxytocin.
Some might say that reducing the romantic feelings of love and lust to chemicals and hormones takes away the beauty of it. Some might prefer to see their relationships as “The One True Love,” a “Special Snowflake,” a connection that no neuroscientist or scholar of the brain can understand. Perhaps it helps some people to see their primary or current romantic relationship as a cocktail of flowers, rainbows, valentines and just a hint of lingerie.
But I think this outlook does more harm than good. I think there’s temptation to stay in relationships that are ultimately harmful under the impression that “This is my only shot at True Love.” Or to keep a relationship monogamous when it may be better suited to polyamory because “This person is my Soulmate.”
I think it’s important that we know and understand that what we describe as Romantic Love is a chemical cocktail that your brain will produce, no matter what, in almost any circumstance. Mr. Right isn’t some guy you’re fated to marry but haven’t met yet. Prince Charming isn’t out there looking for you. Your Soulmate doesn’t exist. And the cake is a lie.
Relationships take work and compromise. Relationships require constant communication and everyone is ever-changing.
The truth is that you could end up happy with almost anyone.
And I think the truth sets you free.