Home' Nova National : February 2010 Contents 34
her to just say, "Well, he has great arms"
or "a nice smile", she admitted she didn't
quite know exactly what it was that
made those particular men stand out
from the rest of the pack.
Then, as we were speaking, one of
these preferred XYs decided to come
over for a chat, no doubt as a response
to some serious smiling from my friend.
As I watched, her face flushed slightly
and she focused intently, really intently,
on him. I swear if she was a light bulb I
would have seen her wattage go way,
way up. I suddenly felt like I was just a
bystander -- happily so though!
I am often asked whether or not we
have a choice around who we love or
whether it's just fate, a decision we can't
avoid and one that perhaps the gods
settle for us. My opinion is that it's a bit
If a scientist were watching the
mating dance my friend was partaking in,
he wouldn't be talking about soulmates
or spiritual connections. Instead, he
would just say you've just fallen hook,
line and sinker into the Biology of Love.
During the festive season I was
lucky enough to be invited to a
number of parties. Some of them
were quite big corporate affairs and some
were smaller and informal. Interestingly,
I went to a few of these with a girlfriend
who is currently single.
Besides delving into conversation
with lots of interesting people, contenting
myself with rating the food and perhaps
extending my field of focus to what was
the latest in glam cocktail outfits, my girl
pal had other things on her mind.
For her, the focus was all about the
men. Who was hot, who was not and
who, most importantly, was available. As
I watched her none too surreptitiously
check out the masculine divine in the
room, I became absolutely fascinated
with the whole process of attraction all
There it was -- the attraction of mates
-- being played out live in front of me,
almost everywhere in the room. A glance
here, a small smile, a batted eyelash and
you could almost hear the sexy music
reach a crescendo when there was the
I asked my friend who she fancied in
the room. That was easy -- she pointed
them out quite quickly. When I asked
her why she fancied them, well that was
much harder. While it was tempting for
It's Your Choice
Let's get very specific: when we sight
someone we find attractive the body kicks
into overdrive. The neurotransmitters,
dopamine and noradrenaline, are
released into the body from nerve cells,
and turn on other nerve cells. Dopamine
is involved in memory, pleasure, problem
solving, motivation and some circulatory
function. Large doses of dopamine make
us feel good, very good in fact.
Noradrenaline is primarily responsible
for maintaining blood pressure, but
is implicated in everything you could
imagine in the central nervous system,
emotional pathways included. It also
assists us to focus sharply. Large doses
of noradrenaline make us feel intensely
Then a substance called PEA
(phenylethylamine) is released into the
mix, which stimulates the body to speed
up and release even more dopamine
and noradrenaline. Whoa...watch out!
So let's imagine that larger than
usual amounts of these substances are
running rampant around your body.
Much larger amounts than usual. The
results are blushing, a huge energy
boost, feeling nervous, anticipation, heart
palpitations, and a general increase in
awareness and vitality. Just like my friend
at the party.
And then, the endorphins kick
in. Endorphins are the painkiller and
pleasure-delivering chemicals in our
bodies. Remember when you are
exercising and it gets harder and you are
just about to give up and then suddenly
you feel much more energetic and you
get a second wind? That's endorphins.
And this, gentle reader, is only the
beginning. This is pre-sex!
When we actually do get together for
sex, our body is not only flooded with
more endorphins, but a chemical called
oxytocin. Oxytocin is one of the most
frequently studied body substances and
is one of the key enablers of orgasm and
bonding in both men and women. It is
really the "trust" pill.
A recent study also showed that
those of us with naturally high levels of
oxytocin are able to form relationships
with all manner of people more easily,
but, on the flip side, can get taken in by
lies and cons more often.
People with higher levels of oxytocin
can also end up with issues of knowing
who to trust -- so it's easier to trust no
one. By the way, women have naturally
When it comes to love, we really do have some say in how a
relationship develops, says Stacey Demarco.
higher levels (oh, don't we know it!) and
this is thought to be because of the role
oxytocin plays in ensuring attachment
between mother and baby.
One of the key ways that oxytocin is
triggered in women is indeed through
breast stimulation. Since the whole
modern dating process is now speeded
up and men often get to stimulate
women's breasts (foreplay) earlier in
the courting process, this can often
skew a woman's view of the seriousness
of a relationship. If the female body is
flooded with oxytocin, it tricks us into
believing that more bonding is occurring
than is actually the case. Is it any wonder
that women often view foreplay and sex
as more of an indicator of a serious love
interest than a man? Is it no wonder
that men are able to more easily mate
and then leave, seemingly emotionally
So, with all of this going on -- really
our body tricking us into procreating
-- is there any room for choice? Is there
any room for a more spiritual dimension?
I believe yes, as long as we have
awareness on board.
While lust may lead us part of the
way, I believe there is another set of
attraction energies being geared towards
us. The Universe responds to the
intentions and wishes of all of us.
Intention, knowing exactly the kind
of relationship and person we want,
becomes vitally important.
We have free will to choose who we
want and what we wish to experience. As
there is more than one kind of soulmate
-- karmic, companion, twin flame and
what my friend was after, a romantic
soulmate -- the satisfying way forward is
to identify what kind of person we are
attracting early and see how this matches
We then have a choice whether or
not to continue the relationship in the
short or long term. It's free will, pure
and simple. While we may not have a big
choice about who we are attracted to,
we certainly do have a choice in how
long we stay and why.
And did my friend get what she was
looking for? In her case, not this time.
What she did get was some sexy
conversation, a dinner and some
information. Information so that she was
able to make an informed decision that,
no matter how cute he was, no matter
what a great smile he had, he wasn't
romantic soulmate material. As my friend
is someone who now knows clearly
what she wants, the decision to move
on -- without this particular smile beside
her -- was an easy one. And one that saves
her time and heartache.
'Intention, knowing exactly the kind of relationship and person
we want, becomes vitally important.'
© NOVA FEBRUARY 2010
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