|Emotions and Feelings|
For Me Ness
Feelings of Attraction
Feelings of attraction are associated with drives that organize our projects in the world and motivate us to venture out and seek gratification of our needs. Positive feelings are associated with attraction and seeking behaviors that encourage us to find good food, clean water, safe places to rest and nice to people to share all of the above including a mate. Positive feelings center around affiliation and affection. We use terms such as “gentle, tender and caring” to describe the behavior of a human who is feeling affectionate.
Attraction to other humans is based on appearance, smell and conduct. Feelings of attraction are aroused when the right signals are received. Emotions are muted or suppressed when strangers meet and find each other attractive. The idea is to establish a calming level of interaction that allows trust to develop. Emotions are disruptive when a new relationship begins with the exception of laughter. Women, for example, often include humor on their list of desirable characteristic of a potential mate. Feelings such as tenderness and concern lead to greater awareness of the feelings of others.
Joy and elation are terms that describe the strongest positive emotion. When a dog greets his master returning home, he is joyful and his emotions take over his body. Humans are capable of similarly effusive displays of joy, but often learn to temper their expressions of joy and settle for a hugs and a few words of endearment.
Love is not an emotion and certainly not a discrete feeling state but a complex mix of many ingredients; affection is a prerequisite of love, but we are used to "people in love" having emotions such as anger and jealousy. Recurrent positive feelings can merge into a nonspecific sense of pleasure and well being that we call “happiness.” Without affection and a sense of security, the term happiness loses most if not all of its meaning.
Romantic love is the temporary glue that sticks two people together and is most evident in younger people choosing a mate. The essential feature of falling in love is a fascination with another person coupled with a drive to be with them and to protect them. Fisher suggested that lust, attraction, and attachment are features of three brain systems involved in courtship, mate selecting, reproduction, and parenting. Lust is the sex drive, the craving for sexual gratification. Romantic love is characterized by obsessive thinking, deep dependency on the relationship, and a craving for union with one individual. A couple is elated when things are going well, but suffer terribly when things are going poorly.
Emotions and Feelings