Is a Companionate Love Relationship Good Or Bad?
Love is a mystery that has baffled men and women throughout history. Is love always a reward or is it something else? Is love always about physical attraction or is it something deeper? Do men and women experience love in very different ways? How do we measure love?
There is no one right answer to any of these questions, because love is a subjective experience that differs from person to person. Love encompasses a broad range of positive and deep emotional states, from an overriding sense of well-being, to the purest form of idealism, the most intense romantic love, the strongest religious devotion, or the most passionate sexual intimacy. All of these states produce brain patterns that can be uniquely influenced by environmental factors, experience, personality traits, and brain functions.
Love is an emotion that arises from within people’s shared experiences and is experienced as a natural, unbridled state when sharing intimate moments with another person. People in loving and passionate relationships share unique brain structures that enable them to experience love as an intensely personal, one-of-a-kind experience. Because of these brain differences, some people are very capable of experiencing passionate love while others are not able to. Scientists have only recently been able to tap the emotional center of the brain to reveal what makes lovers feel passionate about one another and why some people can literally fall in love.
In companionate love, the two partners are emotionally compatible with one another but their brains support different brain wave patterns. People in romantic relationships are often attracted to one another because they share core traits such as compassion, trust, and open-mindedness. These traits make them easy companions and give them the energy and motivation to pursue their romance with enthusiasm. As a result of this compatibility, they find it relatively easy to fall into a passionate love relationship. However, once the excitement of a new romance wears off, these partners are left to experience the devastating pain of loneliness, anxiety, and resentment.
On the other hand, people in a relationship that is passionate love are more likely to feel attracted to someone else because their brains support different brain wave patterns. They have more of a “love hormone” that enables them to experience feelings of romantic desire, security, and belonging. When a person in a companionate love relationship becomes romantically involved, he or she produces a large amount of a chemical called “african” oxytocin. This chemical causes the body to react as if it has had sex. After having this “feel good” reaction, the individual in a romantic relationship needs time to recuperate from the “chemistry shock” caused by the sharing of oxytocin.
Although both forms of love are similar in many ways, they are also very different. People in a companionate relationship do not need to spend nearly as much time building emotionally intimate connections as those in a passionate love relationship. They share emotions and feelings immediately and go straight into having sex. Couple couples, on the other hand, need to spend time building emotional intimacy and “understanding” before they can engage in meaningful conversations about each others feelings and desires. If you and your partner are falling into a love affair, it may be helpful to try to work through the feelings that keep you apart and find new ways to connect with and love your partner.