Wait Three Months and Things will be Better

4176113562_2cb1c8ec32-300x292There is no doubt life can batter you. However, those blows are transitory. Dan Gilbert’s research shows that we recover from most things after about three months. Don’t take my words for it, have a listen to Gilbert, a Harvard professor, who studies the science of happiness. He explains it so much better.

No matter what happens in our life, we will probably adjust back to normal in a relatively short period.

Here is my bold prediction:

One day science will prove that all brain chemistry re-balancing (including love) operates on a three-month phase.

Dan Gilbert’s happiness research has shown a three-month phase does apply to happiness and sadness. I think it will also apply to love.

Shallow Infatuations

I observed a similar timing cycle in the heady days of teenage infatuation. If I liked a girl who was “going out” with someone, I figured I just needed to bide my time.

If I waited three months, their mutual infatuation would be over. They’d lose that intense interest in each other or may even ‘drop’ each other. Puppy love had waned and she was then open to going out. As crazy as it sounds, this timing prediction seemed to work. So much for true love.

The danger of course was that in three months she’d be over me too. Ah, the perils and vagaries of teenage romance…

What Love Is

Now that may sound crazy. But, we have to understand what love is.

Too often we get all caught up in looking at the fruits of love – those romantic warm feelings, the inner glow and the lovely thoughts. They are the outcome of love. The end result. Or, you could even call them the symptoms of love.

The root cause that triggers those emotions is far less romantic. Love is a chemical reaction in the brain. I know that pops the illusion and sounds a bit crass, but feelings are actually the outcome of chemical changes in our brain.

It should not shock us that infatuation can swiftly fade. Love is, after all, a chemical imbalance of happy juice flooding our skull. Give it a few months and things will settle back to normal.

I have indiscriminately used the word love here. I think the Greeks may have had it right with their five types of love.

There are different types of love. Infatuation is a shallow version. Infatuation was really what I was just talking about.

Real Love – a Whole Different Thing

The self-sacrificial kind is real love is something far different. Far more meaningful. That is the sort of love shown by someone caring for you through your life with all its ups and downs. It is the ’till death do you part’ type of love.

It is the type of love shown by a person who cares for you through your cancer treatment. It’s the beautiful experience I wrote about in The Beauty of Being Wretched. The emotion I tried to explain when I expressed my deep gratitude for my wife’s care.

Contrast that with the stark tale of Being There for Each Other in Relationships. That sadly true story is a grim reminder of what can happen if love is denied or absent.

Photo by John&Fish


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