Tuesday, March 11, 2014

Can "The Bachelor" teach us about the power of oxytocin?

This season's "The Bachelor" conveyed a troubled scenario that frequently occurs but is rarely understood. Most young romantics are unaware that "chemistry" is actually taking place during seduction. The neurotransmitter, oxytocin, is released internally, within our brains, as the result of affection. And this "chemical" reaction cleaves us to our love interests. Romantic love is actually a form of addiction.
If we consciously imbibed a chemical to make our brain feel a certain way, we could recognize and stop the process. But when the chemical we are reacting to is hidden from our view, we don't even comprehend that it's motivating us.
Juan Pablo is a master of seduction. His gaze, stroking a woman's face, (which he frequently does whenever she has something meaningful to say...and particularly, that he wants to avoid), other kind, trust building gestures are designed to melt away objection and create a sense of bonding. It's not a bad thing.... in fact, we would never create families without it. It can be misused, however, and also, misjudged.
Everyone wants to be loved. It's inherent in our nature. And we all have differing levels of oxytocin production, and differing reactions to it. Some of the women, Andi and Sharlene in particular, went through a tug of war between what they cerebrally comprehended, and what JP's seductive behavior made them feel. In the end, these two women were able to distance themselves from the shallowness of the relationship. But even for them, the battle going on in their psyche was painful.
JP probably did Clare a huge favor. And it's likely he did so because he sensed that she could not be strung along for as long as he can fool Nicky. Clare was more outspoken about the mixed signals she received from him. He likely senses Nicky's love for him as more "unconditional." JP simply dismisses the rejection of the women who don't love him "unconditionally." Why would he care that they reject him because his own attachment lacks depth, as one can clearly see in how distanced and disconnected he was toward Clare's admonishment at the end.
JP's agenda has more to do with a "Mom" for his daughter, than "love" from him. Is he capable of "loving" Nicky? His inability to express it should run up the red flag, With sufficient exposure to a lack of validation, she might sober up, but it will be immensely heart wrenching.