My first love was Elvis Presley, or maybe it was Chico from 70s sitcom Chico and the Man, then came The Six Million Dollar Man (Lee Majors – hubba hubba), followed by The Fonz (maybe I just thought he was cool?!), and don’t even get me started on the Rod Stewart years! (woops – that’s Sir Rod Stewart now). Like most people, my heart has been profoundly broken a couple of times (although not by any of the fine gentlemen named above!), and it is enough to make one wish that love didn’t even exist.
Yes, love can be excruciating (there’s even a themed museum (https://brokenships.com/), but its is also necessary; some might say necessary for our very survival. Dr. Gabor Mate (https://drgabormate.com/) suggests the need for love and belonging/acceptance is our greatest need (The Biology of Loss, two-day conference, November 2016, Shediac, NB). The famous American psychologist, Abraham Maslow, gave us the Hierarchy of Needs back in the 40s/50s, suggesting that once our basic physical needs (food, water, safety, etc.) have been met, it is love and belonging we seek, and require if we are to move up the hierarchy to achieve esteem and self-actualization (http://www.simplypsychology.org/maslow.html).
Perhaps that explains why even after painful losses in love, and/or other significant relationships, we humans continue to seek out other attachments. We need to attach to survive socially, psychologically, emotionally, and spiritually. The quality and degree of attachment infants have to their mothers in infancy and early childhood not only lays the blueprint for all other attachments/relationships in that baby’s future, it also impacts brain development (https://www.helpguide.org/articles/relationships/attachment-and-adult-relationships.htm).
“Attachment is at the heart of relationships and social functioning” (Neufeld & Mate, Hold On to Your Kids, 2004, p. 17). They go on to say attachment is the pursuit and preservation of proximity and connection: physically, emotionally, behaviourally and psychologically. Dr. Pat Ogden, in her 2015 book Sensorimotor Psychotherapy describes attachment as a strong emotional connection we feel with certain people that endures over time and can include parents, grandparents, siblings, friends and romantic partners (p. 66).
Of course babies, at least mammalian babies, cannot survive on their own, and need to support of their mothers in order to live and grow, and become independent adults themselves. Attachment is a biologically built-in mechanism for survival, which explains why being rejected by a love interest, or a friend group can be so devastating, and why we somehow find resilience to give love another try. Why else would there be so many songs, poems, and other art-forms about love/heartache and or the joy of love? We need it on so many levels, and like the old saying goes….. “love makes the world go ’round.” As for what happens when we don’t get or give love….well that’s for another blog, but let’s just say it doesn’t have a happy ending. So, enjoy what’s left of St Valentine’s Day, and don’t give up on love…your very survival depends on it! In the meantime, check out this Ted Talk on the science of love: http://www.ted.com/talks/helen_fisher_studies_the_brain_in_love
Or…check out these links to great love songs…….
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zO6D_BAuYCI Crazy Little Thing Called Love, Queen
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=S-cbOl96RFM At Last, Etta James
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=FbiBM1Piy1Q You Belong to Me, Bryan Adams
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=XXmlJQN5Pm8 Wicked Game, Chris Isaac
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zvCBSSwgtg4 Ho Hey, The Lumineers
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=iZhNW_jKrQY Love Hurts, Nazareth
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=v_6RdsBZitc Leonard Cohen, Bobby Bazini
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vcWWfHrn01w I Think I Love You, The Partridge Family
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=aDqqm_gTPjc I Will Always Love You, Dolly Parton
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dqCmGQKmGnw Love Is, Andy Gibb
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2_9QooYDYtU Silly Love Songs, Paul McCartney
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vGJTaP6anOU I Can’t Help Falling In Love, Elvis Presley
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-gzC29VwE1A Love Me Tender, Norah Jones (Elvis cover)