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What attracts a person to another yet repels him from another? Is there any factual or psychological basis in choosing whom to love or whom to befriend? Although it is an accepted notion that a love relationship buds after friendship, why then are there platonic relationships that exist and flourish?
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There are three different kinds of love, namely: 1) eros (erotic or sexual love or the love relationship that binds a man and a woman); 2) phileo (philial love or the love relationship that exists between brothers and sisters or parents and siblings; not instinctual since it moved from the self and is based on a blood relationship or a group); and 3) agape (considered as the highest form of love, a kind of love that transcends reason, one that is entirely selfless).
For this purpose however, discussion will be limited to the first kind of love. To give us a better insight on this general phenomenon, we shall consider a psychological point of view as expressed in two distinctly related articles, namely: 1) Dr. Joyce Brothers’ “Why We Love Who We Love,” (n.d.) and, 2) Laurie Pawlik-Kienlen’s “What makes people fall in love” (2008). Both articles centers on what is called “as 'lovemap'--a group of messages encoded in our brains that describes our likes and dislikes.” (Money in Brothers, n.d). Significantly, this love map, which is basically formed from our previous relationships during childhood, forces us to decide whom we should pursue or those whom we should avoid.
Some factors affecting our choices, specifically in choosing the person we would be spending our lifetime with or even in deciding whom we should befriend, include 1)
Principles behind Loving and Being Loved 2
parental rearing and upbringing and 2) perceived social similarities, according to Dr. Brothers (Ibid).
Kienlen, on the other hand, made her explanation more specific by pointing out several types of chemistry that work for the pairing off of two individuals. In the process, “neurochemical processes and external stimuli” that are provoked thereby forcing two people to be attracted to one another. Kienlen attributes the chemistry formed from the following: 1) certain orientation in smell; 2) love pheromones or “unlearned, and perhaps unsmellable, signals that enter the brain through the olfactory system” (Dr. Kristal in Kienlen, 2008); and 3) the brain wherein certain hormones and neurotransmitters such as oxytocin, vasopressin and dopamine are considered binding forces that excite either sex and determines whether both will get to like or love each other.
Whatever drives a person to like or to love another, does not necessarily tell whether the relationship will last for a lifetime, and since nothing in this world is constant except change, one should try to change how he should deal with the other person for the better, should in the process of knowing or falling for the other discover that the other person is not really whom she thought he is at first sight.
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