Tainted Love: Why Love Is Trick *And* Treat - Deepstash

Bite-sized knowledge

to upgrade

your career

Ideas from books, articles & podcasts.

created 25 ideas

Love is both a wonderful thing and a cunning evolutionary trick to control us. A dangerous cocktail in the wrong hands.

AEON

Tainted Love: Why Love Is Trick *And* Treat

Tainted Love: Why Love Is Trick *And* Treat

aeon.co

STASHED IN:

1.52K reads

We can all agree that, on balance, and taking everything into account, love is a wonderful thing. For many, it is the point of life. It infiltrates every fibre of our being and every aspect of our daily lives. It is the most important factor in our mental and physical health, our...

This suite of chemicals makes us feel euphoric and calm, they draw us towards those we love, and reward us for investing in our relationships, even when the going gets tough. Love feels wonderful but ultimately it is a form of biological bribery, a cunning evolutionary trick to make sure ...

It’s about using chemical bribery to make sure we stick around, cooperate and invest in each other, and particularly in the survival-critical relationships we have with our lovers, children and close friends. This is an evolutionary control of which we are hardly aware, ...

The addictive nature of these chemicals, and our visceral need for them, means that love also has a dark side. It can be used as a tool of exploitation, manipulation and abuse. Indeed, in part what may separate human love from the love experienced by other animals is that we can ...

Anna Machin, evolutionary anthropologist, and author of Why We Love: The New Science Behind our Closest Relationships asks her subjects to consider whether love can ever be negative. The vast majority say no for, if love has a darker side, it is not love, and this is an interest...

Jealousy is an emotion and, as with all emotions, it evolved to protect us, to alert us to a potential benefit or threat. It works its magic at three levels: the emotional, the cognitive and the behavioural. Physiology also throws its hat into the ring making you feel nauseous, f...

When we feel jealousy, it is generally urging us to do one of three things: to cut off the rival, to prevent our partner’s defection by redoubling our efforts, or to cut our losses and leave the relationship. All have evolved to make sure we balance the costs and benefits of the relat...

The answer very much depends on our gender.

Men and women experience jealousy with the same intensity. However, there is a stark difference when it comes to what causes each to be jealous. One of the pioneers of human mat...

In one study, in which subjects were asked to read different scenarios detailing incidences of sexual and emotional infidelity, 83% of women found the emotional scenario the most jealousy-inducing, whereas only 40% of men found this to be of concern. In contrast, 60% of m...

The reason for this difference sits with the different resources that men and women bring to the mating game. Broadly, men bring their resources and protection; women bring their womb. If a woman is sexually unfaithful and becomes pregnant with another man’s child, she has withdr...

In contrast, women are more concerned about emotional infidelity because this suggests that, if their partner does make a rival pregnant and becomes emotionally involved with her, his partner risks having to share his protection and resources with another, meaning that her children receive less o...

Emotional intelligence sits at the core of healthy relationships. To truly deliver the benefits of the relationship to our partner, we must understand and meet their emotional needs as they must understand and meet ours. But, as with love, this skill has a darker side because to under...

The most adept proponents of this skill are those who possess the Dark Triad of personality traits: Machiavellianism, psychopathy and narcissism. The first relies on using emotional intelligence to manipulate others, the second to toy with other’s feelings, and the third...

For these people, characterised by exploitative, manipulative and callous personalities, emotional intelligence is the route to a set of mate-retention behaviours that certainly meet their goals but are less than beneficial to those whom they profess to love. Indeed, research has shown th...

Research has shown that having a Dark Triad personality, whether you were a man or a woman, significantly increased the likelihood that ‘“cost-inflicting mate-retention behaviours” were your go-to mechanism when trying to retain your partner. These are behaviours that level an emotional, ...

Interestingly, however, these individuals did not employ this tactic all the time. There was nuance in their behaviour. Costly behaviours were peppered with rare incidences of gift giving or caretaking, so-called beneficial mate-retention behaviours. Why? Because the unpredictability of t...

It is hard to imagine that, having experienced such a litany of abuse, anyone could believe that love remained within their relationship. But here the power of the lived experience, of allowing everyone to have their ideas about love becomes clearer. Because, while we have many scientific...

Love is the focus of so much science, philosophy and literary rumination because we struggle to define it, to predict its next move. Thanks to our biology and the reproductive mandate of evolution, love has long controlled us. But what if we could control love? What if a magic potion exi...

Today we know enough about the chemistry of love for the elixir to be within our grasp. And we don’t have to look very far for our first candidate: synthetic oxytocin, used right now as an induction drug in labour. We know from extensive research in social neuroscience that artificial oxy...

The other possibility is MDMA or ecstasy, which mimics the neurochemical of long-term love, beta-endorphin. Recreational users of ecstasy report that it makes them feel boundless love for their fellow clubbers and increases their empathy. Researchers in the US have reported encouraging re...

Both of these sound like promising candidates but there are still issues to iron out and ethical discussions to have. How effective they are is highly context dependent. Based on their genetics, some people do exactly what is predicted of them. Boundaries are lo...

MDMA has other issues. For some people, it simply does not work. But the bigger problem is that the effects endure only while usage continues; anecdotal evidence suggests that, if you stop, the feelings of love and empathy disappear. This raises questions of pra...

Maybe it is time to rewrite the stories we tell ourselves about love because the danger on the horizon is not the dragon that needs to be slain by the knight to save the beautiful princess but the presence of some who mean to use its powers for their gain and our considerable loss.

15 Reactions

Comment

It's time to

READ

LIKE

A PRO!

Jump-start your

reading habits

, gather your

knowledge

,

remember what you read

and stay ahead of the crowd!

Takes just 5 minutes a day.


TRY THE DEEPSTASH APP

+2M Installs

4.7 App Score