Love one way or another

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Sunday, March 23, 2014


Michelle: I saw an article written by a David Zinczenko entitled “Can Love be Unhealthy?” He wrote that when love becomes an addiction, it can wreak havoc on the mind and body. Might it be that he confused love with
lust? It is said that love conquers all. But what about those times when, instead of conquering anything, it just messes up everything?

Love is good but why does it seem to be destructive for some people? Zinczenko asked the question “is love ever unhealthy?” and wrote that the answer is yes, according to South Carolina Gov. Mark Sanford’s wife
Jenny who, in an issue of Vogue magazine, described her husband’s affair as an addiction. Can one indeed be addicted to love?

DJ: Well it can happen only if love is confused with the cascading release of dopamine, serotonin and norepinephrine scientifically known as methamphetamine. That’s shabu in layman’s term. Addictive. But love isn’t just about chemistry. There is more to it than spontaneous combustion. Love is not and will never be ravaging. In fact, the most reliable indication if what two people share is true love is when they both grow, when they bring out the best in each other. And it’s not something they have to live up to. It’s something they grow into.

M: Zinczenko wrote that from a health standpoint, most love affairs are very good for you. A University of California Los Angeles study found that people in generally excellent health were 88 percent more likely to die over the eight-year study period if they were single. And when love dies, so too often do the lovers. A study published in the Archives of Internal Medicine found that ending a marriage can increase a man’s risk of dying of cardiovascular disease by as much as 40 percent. I wonder if it has the same effect for women. Zinczenko also wrote that not all love affairs are created equal and a love affair is probably toxic if you’re hiding it.

The article cites a recent research from Colorado State University which found that “secret relationships”— whether it’s an affair, or something that is kept quiet due to age, social class, or racial or religious backgrounds— are linked to being less committed to your partner, having
more symptoms of poor physical health, and having lower self-esteem.

DJ: Single people dying early, to me, sounds as implausible as the belief that good people die young. If that’s true, I should have died when I was younger! But seriously, being in a relationship does not guarantee happiness, particularly if such a bond is leaving one or both parties bone dry. On the flipside, one can also never be happy as a single person if he or she is too focused on what’s missing instead of being thankful for what’s present. I came across a study published last year in Psychology Today which concluded that getting married doesn’t make a person happier. Over time, survey respondents went back to feeling as satisfied or as unsatisfied as they were with their lives before they got married.

The same study also presented that people who are married and those who are single differ in many ways like financial resources and emotional well-being and it is in these ways, rather than status, that account for any differences in happiness. Come to think of it, bliss or misery
can stem from any person regardless of whether he or she is single or married.

M: A love affair can also be unhealthy if your self-esteem depends on it. A study in the Journal of Social and Clinical Psychology found that the more people feel they may be sacrificing for their relationship, the less well they function and the more likely they are to show symptoms of depression. Zinczenko also wrote that when people feel they have
to sacrifice frequently, they start to perceive those sacrifices as harmful. Many also resent constantly sacrificing for someone who does not reciprocate the way they expect the person to. Love can only be unhealthy if it is the wrong kind of love, with the wrong person at the wrong
time. But if we love the source of all love and love as He loves, then it’s all good, healthy kind of love.

DJ: I believe it isn’t love if it doesn’t hurt. But love is more than just the melodrama. It’s also more than simply belting out big, choreographed musical numbers at the drop of a hat. True love is tough. But the truer love is “you” and “I” become one. And it hopes, believes and endures all things.

(ssinglestalk@yahoo.com)

Published in the Sun.Star Cebu newspaper on March 23, 2014.

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