Governors, Quarterbacks, and Soul Mates
- Wednesday, July 08, 2009
From Fisher’s work we know that in this state the limerent’s brain increases dopamine (the ecstasy, happy, feel-good chemical in the brain) and decreases serotonin (the inhibitor, finish things, bring things to a conclusion chemical in the brain). To draw us toward the lover and overcome any barriers that might distract or prohibit us from pursuing, the brain goes into a phase in which logic and intelligence surrender to feelings and emotions. It’s a natural high that is as strong, if not stronger, than nearly any drug. And it gets stronger.
Emotions continue to intensify as fear develops that somehow one may lose the LO and the relationship will not last. Fear increases passion. That’s why it is so euphoric while at the same time so scary. In short, the limerent’s brain is a cauldron of unbalanced chemicals that lead to the absolute misery of blissfully intense love; happy thoughts mixed with fearful thoughts, wonderful fantasies about the future diluted by nagging doubts, euphoria sometimes dropping suddenly into depression, and giddiness competing with Godliness.
With inhibitions reduced and ecstasy increased, one in limerence describes his/her feelings in glowing, romantic terms. Governor Sanford said of his relationship with Chapur, “This was a whole lot more than a simple affair. This was a love story. A forbidden one, a tragic one, but a love story at the end of the day.” He believes that he will reach death “knowing that I had met my soul mate.”
If Sanford is in limerence with Chapur (a given, don’t you think?) you can see why he believes that. Look up the origin of the phrase soul mate and you’ll find that it began with the idea that Zeus (people later attributed it to Karma and eventually to God) split souls and we spend our lives looking for the person that is the other half of us. Therefore, if we are so lucky as to find and develop a relationship with the person who deeply understands and validates our emotions, thoughts, and dreams, we have found the soul who completes us – our soul mate.
Sounds so romantic and beautiful, doesn’t it? However, there are two major problems with it.
First, it’s just not true. The fairy tale, myth, fantasy, or whatever you wish to call it has been propagated through the centuries via the human experience of limerence. It’s a given in the marriage business that whomever you marry brings with him/her a set of problems. Marry this one and you get one set of problems. Marry that one and you get a different set. The absolute is that there ARE problems in every relationship and that each person on the planet is imperfect.
While it’s a fun fantasy to think that putting two imperfect people together would create perfection, it has no basis in reality. There is not one passage in the Bible that teaches that God has the perfect person for us out there somewhere. And there is no passage that tells us how to know if we actually encountered that person if such a person exists. Should we base it on how we feel? As you’ll see in a moment, that won’t work either. Why? Limerence fades away. Always.
Second, it makes God the one responsible for very bad decisions. Since Adam blamed God for making the woman that caused all the trouble (Genesis 3:12), people have been claiming that through circumstances and situations God led them to do the thing they did. As one woman leaving her husband for her “soul mate” said to me, “This is the man God meant me to have and be with all my life. He completes me. I know I was wrong to sleep with him before I divorced my husband, but there is no doubt that God sent this man to me.”
If you believe that God indeed has a specific soul mate for you and you finally beat the six billion to one odds and find that person, then who can blame you for abandoning the one you married before you finally found the person that God really meant you to have in the first place?
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