• David E. Buder

Love Emotion and the Fear Factor

Albert Einstein suggested that all human motivation is driven by fear or longing.

Falling in love can wreak havoc on your body. Your heart races, your stomach gets tied up in knots, and you're on an emotional roller coaster, feeling deliriously happy one minute and anxious and desperate the next. Research shows that these intense, romantic feelings come from the brain.

Experts have said that romantic love is one of the most powerful emotions a person can have. Humans' brains have been wired to choose a mate, and we humans become motivated to win over that mate, sometimes going to extremes to get their attention and affection. Despite our self-protective measures, though, we still often end up desperately longing for that irresistible someone. It is absolutely terrifying, but also exhilarating

None of us wants to lose our (imagined) authority over our emotions. Falling in love reminds us that "reason" is largely irrelevant to many aspects of our emotional lives. Falling in love is scary, and must be reckoned with, not rejected, denied, or parsed into tidy lists in which we find relief from uncertainty. Fear, risk, and pain are part of the territory— as are joy, wonder, and surprise. There are no guarantees romantic love will “work out.” What's not to fear.

When you meet someone for the first time that you find interesting or attractive, your brain produces a feel-good chemical (serotonin). If the feeling is returned, and you develop a romantic interest with this person, the brain creates a different chemical response (dopamine). All three of these emotions – attraction, romance, and attachment – produce, in us, different feelings of joy, happiness, passion, and contentment.

But there is also a flip side. When things go wrong, when we suddenly break off an intense romance, or dissolve a long-standing relationship, we suffer the difficult pain of jealousy, hurtfulness, confusion and loss. These aching emotions are equal in intensity to the positive joys and passions of love, and can cause profound sadness and distress. Painful emotions are also associated with chemical reactions in the brain. Maybe something to fear?

But romantic love should not be confused with REAL love. Love is the highest vibration emotion that there is. Science has proven that emotions like love and fear have very different vibrations. They can actually measure them. Love vibrates very fast, whereas fear-based emotions (think jealousy, possessiveness, anger, greed, etc.) vibrate very slowly. When you love completely and unconditionally (real love), there is no fear involved. The vibrations of love make you feel good at all times. There are some that say that Love Is Not an Emotion, like Karla McLaren who writes, “The truth about love is this: Love is constant; only the names change. Love doesn’t just restrict itself to romantic relationships. Love is everywhere . Love for me lives in a realm far deeper than the emotions”.

Real love, like that for a wife or child, is indeed a deep-set mature and confident sense of love. But a new relationship that can create excitement and create those bursts of romantic love, is a frontal cortex based involuntary reaction that can express itself through subconscious facial movements, no different than a subtle lower lip depression suggesting anger.

Even Paul Ekman, the founder of the Facial Action Coding System ( the basis for Emotion Recognition technology) talking about the emotion of love, says that "emotions come and go", so if you can see anger pop up during a conversation, it can disappear , just like the feeling of immediate love can display itself if just for a moment. He goes on to say that "in romantic love, you care, you’re involved, and you’re more susceptible to experiencing a variety of emotions. And those emotions don’t endure, they come and go, lasting only seconds or at most minutes”

But these emotions do exist, and should be measurable. It's been said that everything we do in life is based on fear - especially love. As in nature, opposites attract just like positive and negative ions, and as love and fear are the two most powerful emotions, it's not surprising (though highly opposite in nature) that they could go hand in hand in the emotion of love.

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