Sunday, May 2, 2010

Hooked on Firsts!

(Published in Magnificent Magazine - Mirror issue 2010)

Back in the days when lollipops meant more to me than jewelry, I believed that men who couldn’t find it in them to commit were either constantly falling for the crazy ones or flat out womanizers. I believed that the success of any relationship fell on the woman’s shoulders only. I believed that whenever a woman is dumped or divorced it’s the result of her own stupidity and flawed nature. I believed that women must marry before the age of 25 and men wed whenever they felt like it. I believed that cheating is only allowed for men. I believed that only men can marry more than once. But I also believed that eating white marshmallows on New Year’s Eve brings luck and happiness!

Time passed by crushing all my naïve theories- including that of white marshmallows- under its big feet and I saw relationships as a world on its own with its young, youths and elders. I saw hearts being crushed for no fault of their owners. I saw couples separate because they don’t want to be together anymore. I saw one-sided love. I saw women cheat, marry by the age of 35, get a divorce and re-marry. I saw men confused, defeated and weak. I saw people get married behind their parents’ backs, despite their approvals and defy traditions. I saw men who cannot commit to one woman and they’re neither womanizers nor suffering bad luck. I saw men, who despite the fact that they’re seeking a stable relationship, give up quickly and move on in search of another and I had to pause…

I thought good for women, for their growing ability to say no, to change their present, to make mistakes, choose and aim for a more convenient future; but the men?! The men who, all over the world, are stereotyped as cheaters, pigs that are only looking to satisfy their desires and partners who wouldn’t wait around for intimacy to happen.
Why would a man, aiming commitment and has no jitters whatsoever, lose the ability to commit? Why would he, if not a player, rush from one relationship to another? What makes a man leave behind a woman he really likes if he senses potential for success?

Because he’s hooked on firsts!

The story usually goes like this; a nice man meets a nice lady, sparks fly all over the place, hormones start pumping through their veins. The man meets his testosterone craze while the woman faces her estrogen, creating the ultimate physical pull. Then attraction on every other level happens because of a game our brains master through love chemicals. Dopamine, “the pleasure chemical”, is released causing the euphoric rush and endless craving towards the significant other. Followed by Norepinephrine, which has the adrenaline-like effect, creating the racy heart beats and excitement lovers get when hearing their partners’ names. Together, Dopamine and Norepinephrine, produce what relationships-terms refer to as firsts, starting with sleeplessness all the way to loss of appetite. Add obsession, because of the decreased Serotonin levels, and the lover becomes the one and only thing in mind.

So love happens because of a chemical cocktail the brain releases when the timing and conditions couldn’t be more perfect. Accordingly, there are those who may get hooked on the love chemicals. They’re referred to as love junkies, love addicts, high on love or even firsts addicts. They crave that rush, elation and obsession love chemicals produce at the early beginnings of relationships and as their bodies build up tolerance to those chemicals, they start to crave more and more of the mysterious love potion. That’s why they usually go from one relationship to the next in search of a love fix. And giving the fact that men are more visual than women, they happen to get hooked on firsts faster and more frequently than women. That doesn’t mean that it never happens for women, it does, but since almost all women cherish the effort and time they invest in relationships and the fact that most women are very emotional, it’s highly unlikely for them to call it quits out of steadiness.

That being said, the hooked- on- firsts- people end a relationship because, for them, it’s not exciting anymore, it no longer delivers that rush they desire and it’s going in the direction of utter boredom. Therefore, you can find a man who couldn’t be more thrilled about his new partner and rush-filled relationship, but then when the firsts are over and the commitment phase starts to blossom, he loses interest along with his fix, thus thinking this relationship and this partner is not for him and moves on to the next. And you can find a man who after a long pursuit to be with an extraordinary woman, the moment he gains her approval is the one when the captivating lights shut off and he finds himself stuck with nothing but an ordinary woman in a boring relationship that needs to end.

A lot of people debate over the notion of whether love is addictive or not. Science settled the case with the fact that for some people, mostly men, love do get to their heads and become their grand quest. And since the case of love junkies isn’t yet out in the open, once you sense that you or your partner are hooked on firsts, you need to know that having a long-term relationship won’t be a walk in the park. For you have to keep the flame alive, that adrenaline rush present, the hormones elevated and the chase endless. Even if you need to separate for a while, travel some place new or pick up a new hobby. As long as you’re honest about it, love will always be that thrill you desire.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

I love it a lot
perfect and amazing
Mai Harhash