Most dating singles are skeptical about marriage going the distance, because America has the highest divorce rates in the world. Over half of first marriages end in divorce, with even higher divorce rates for second through forth marriages.
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How do couples beat the odds and bulletproof a marriage? Understand the true answer to this love test: Is love real or a delusion?
Get the answer from me and two other top experts in highlights of my radio conversation for A Lasting Love with neurosurgeon, Dr. Charles E. Rawling, who wrote It Really Is That Complicated, and Milt Quibner, author of the sexual satire, How High Should I Jump?
Hadley: Our high divorce rates reveal it's difficult for couples to sustain a marriage. Don’t we need something to hold onto, some hope, something to believe in, like love? I imagine you each will have opposing answers to this question: Is love real or a delusion?
Charles: For most part, love is a delusion. It’s scientifically shown that feelings of love are driven by hormones and seratonin in the brain.
It’s been shown that most males have to be engaged in a relationship with a woman within 18 months of meeting her, or their seratonin will disappear and they’ll go looking for something else.
So love is an an emotion. It’s chemically driven in a male’s brain. That doesn’t mean it doesn’t exist, and you can’t play off it. Once it goes away, you have a real need for working at the relationship.
Hadley: I agree. I call it "Cupid’s Cocktails" that draw you together and bond you at the start of a relationship. So that love might be perceived as a feeling. But true love is a verb. It’s all the actions that you do to be loving. It’s great chemistry, communication, kindness.
Milt: Let me jump on that, because that’s the thing we must understand. We need to move from believing in things, in objects like love or depression. They are not things that come into us. No they are activities we share.
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We learn love. We learn to become loving. It is not a state that comes in and completes us. There's so much romantic crap out there. When I fall in love I will be completed. No it doesn’t work that way. As Charles said, the idea of love can be reduced to a scientific level of hormones.
So what it is this thing that draws us together and leads us to stay together through arduous experiences? It is the verb of love. It's the loving we are doing. It is learning about each other and ourselves during the process. It is processional. Love is not a thing.