Many theorists attempt to analyze the process of romantic love. Anthropologist Helen Fisher, in her book “Why We Love,” uses brain scans to show that love is the product of a chemical reaction in the brain. Norepinephrine and dopamine, among other chemicals, are responsible for excitement and bliss in humans as well as non-human animals. Fisher concludes that these reactions have a genetic basis, and therefore love is a natural drive as powerful as hunger. In his book “What Women Want, What Men Want,”, anthropologist John Townsend takes the genetic basis of love one step further by identifying how the sexes are different in their predispositions. Townsend's compilation of various research projects concludes that men are susceptible to youth and beauty, whereas women are susceptible to status and security. These differences are part of a natural selection process where males seek many healthy women of childbearing age which will mother offspring, whereas women seek men who are willing and able to take care of them and their children. Other researchers have focused on opposing forces in human love. Psychologist Karen Horney, M.D., in her article “The Problem of the Monogamous Ideal,” indicates that the overestimation of love leads to disillusionment; the desire to possess the partner results in the partner wanting to escape; and the taboos against sex result in non-fulfillment. Disillusionment plus the desire to escape plus non-fulfillment result in a secret hostility, which causes the other partner to feel alienated. Secret hostility in one and secret alienation in the other cause the partners to secretly hate each other. This secret hate often leads one or the other or both to seek love objects outside the marriage or relationship. Psychologist Harold Bessell, PhD, in his book “The Love Test,” reconciles the opposing forces noted by the above researchers and shows that there are two factors that determine the quality of a relationship. Bessell proposes that people are drawn together by a force which he calls “romantic attraction,” which is a combination of genetic and cultural factors. This force may be weak or strong and may be felt to different degrees by each of the two love partners. The other factor is “emotional maturity,” which is the degree to which a person is capable of providing good treatment in a love relationship. It can thus be said that an immature person is more likely to overestimate love, become disillusioned, and have an affair whereas a mature person is more likely to see the relationship in realistic terms and act constructively to work out problems.
“Have you thought of any names yet?” Jakob asked as he rubbed Riza’s six-month belly in his dorm bed.
“Yes,” she said.
“I mean it’s up to you.”
“Hey, this is your baby too.”
“I know. I want to hear your list first and then we’ll do fine.”
“Alright, if you insist. Michael?”
“No, that name’s overdone.”
“Yeah, I guess you’re right. Trevor.”
“Now that’s a thought. Anything else?”
Riza smiled and shook her head. “No. What about your names for a boy?”
Jakob smiled and kissed her on the lips. “I want to finish your list of names first.”
“What about girls?”
Jakob shrugged. “It’s up to you.”
Riza thought about that for a moment. Then, she smiled. “I’ll keep it.”
Riza shook her head. “Nah. And what about your list of names? I just finished mine.”
Jakob lied there on his stomach and took a moment to think about it. “Well, for a boy, I figured Trevor, Josh, or Emmitt?”
Riza gave him a puzzled face. “Emmitt?”
Her husband shrugged. “What? I just thought it was a nice name. Come on.”
His wife only laughed. “And for a girl?”
“I was thinking Isabella or Kizzy.”
“It was grandmother’s name.”
Riza just gave him a little smile. “Well, we’ll consider Kizzy for a girl.” His wife paused as her husband smiled.
“I felt it kick,” he whispered.
“Me too,” Riza whispered back. The couple laughed as they shared another morning kiss in bed. There are still beautiful things that exist in this crumbling world.
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