Valentine’s Day – you either love it or you hate it. Years ago as a uni student my boyfriend (now husband) had a job for a few years on Valentine’s Day delivering for a group of local florists. Not surprisingly it’s a florist’s busiest day of the year and they need all the help they can get to keep up. I worked with him as his navigator and runner and the area we were allocated covered a huge industrial estate full of small to medium sized factories and warehouses (navigating was tricky!).
The target of our deliveries were mostly the receptionists and other admin staff (the occasional shop floor mega embarrassed in front of his mates guy), but mostly young women receiving flowers and chocolates and stuffed teddy bears from boyfriends and sometimes secret admirers.
Reactions were priceless – from embarrassed and shy to positively gloating. Regardless each one of these women were touched deeply by the gesture and...
One of my favourite scientific advances in the last 20 years is the ability to take pictures of the brain and its circuitry in action, and what this continues to teach us about how we are wired and therefore why we do what we do.
Anthropologist Helen Fisher is a leader in this area and has extensively studied what happens in the brain as it relates to love. She has differentiated 3 types of love, that each have their own areas of the brain that light up:
1. Sexual attraction or lust – Fisher describes as more like an actual “drive” like hunger, and just like hunger is required for your survival (if you don’t eat you will die). Sexual attraction or lust, (driven by estrogen and testosterone) is required for the survival of the human race. You can have a number of people who you are sexually attracted to but in humans we usually put it together with at least one of the other types of love.