But it’s a lot easier to get swept up in romantic love than to nurture the real thing. “Falling in love” is probably one of the easiest things in the world to do, because our bodies are created and crafted to respond to love, and um, physical attraction.
First there’s eye contact, then a smile, then that spark. C’mon, ladies. Don’t pretend you don’t know what I’m talking about. You know when it happens. Endorphins in our brains send our hearts soaring when the interest is mutual—yes, that’s the falling in love part.
Adrenaline surges through our bodies, our hearts pounds, our palms sweat. Yes, indeedy, we’re revved up. Then comes the effects of dopamine: We can’t eat. We can’t sleep. Another feeling we get comes from a chemical in our bodies called oxytocin, which has been called the love hormone.
Love isn’t blind, but all those hormones can mask reality.
Sometimes in relationships, we spend more time enjoying getting attached to someone, before spending time thinking (yes, thinking!) about if that “someone” is truly right for us, or if we’re right for them.
We need to use our heads to guide our hearts; it’s far, far easier to back off in the beginning, before the hormones take over and we succumb to the mind-blinding thing called love.
The writer of Proverbs even refers to this chemical mystery: “There are three things that amaze me— no, four things that I don’t understand: how an eagle glides through the sky, how a snake slithers on a rock, how a ship navigates the ocean, how a man loves a woman.” (Prov. 30:18-19)
I told my daughter a long time ago, it’s okay to accept someone’s quirks and shortcomings in a love relationship, but character flaws? Those end up hurting the people far more deeply and breed “drama” in relationships. Some may think it normal, and fall in and out of love when someone better comes along.
In my latest release, Tempest’s Course, my heroine Kelly Frost comes with a bit of baggage. Kelly’s had a hard-knock life up until this point. She’s a former foster kid who grew out of the system, then put herself through college and become one of the top textiles conservators in Massachusetts.
But Kelly has longed for love, not only the love of a real family, but the love of a man. In her search for love, she’s been burned—by someone who kept a very important fact about his life from her. Not only did she compromise herself, but when the truth was exposed, it harmed her personal and business reputations. This all happens before her story begins, but makes her quite gun-shy about feelings she has for Tom Pereira, who has heart issues of his own.
While she restores an old Mariner’s Compass quilt housed in a whaling captain’s mansion, she learns to accept God’s love for her, and learns to accept the love of people around her.
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What guidance would you share with a young person, who’s looking for that special someone? How can someone “use their head to guide their heart?”
Leave a comment and contact information for a chance to win a copy of Tempest’s Course. Winner to be selected on 2/28/2014 (US and Canada only).