Interview with professor Daniel Lieberman MD – Romantic love

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This video is about romantic love. It is an excerpt from a discussion between psychiatrist and author Professor Daniel Lieberman and  entrepreneur podcaster, Patrick Bet-David on the book The Molecule of More: How a Single Chemical in Your brain Drives Love, Sex, and Creativity – and Will Determine the Fate of the Human Race. Look below for more details about the book.

The video is an interesting exchange about Professor Lieberman’s book on the all-important molecule of motivation dopamine. He describes how this neurochemical operates in our everyday life. For example, it is responsible for making a person become addicted to porn, politics, sex or drugs. He explains how it is all about novelty and how we lose interest after we get whatever we are interested in. Because once we obtain the object of our desire, dopamine wears off. It’s about seeking more, not contentment.

Romantic love

Romantic love is discussed in the Molecule of More The conversation ventures into modern day issues around sex: porn and love with robots. They then turn to love. Bet-David confirms what a lot of people believe, that “love confuses the hell out of all of us”.

Professor Lieberman confirms that people want to fall in love. However they always want to make this passionate love last, but they can’t. He explains that romantic love or passionate lasts on average only about 12 months. Many regard the change in feelings as a failure in the relationship. They start to look elsewhere for that high passion, but in fact this is a natural change.

If we stay together as a couple, this change in neurochemicals in the brain leads to “companionate love”. It’s no longer using dopamine, that’s about a rosy future. Companionate love uses different neurochemicals- it’s about the now. It’s about loyal, deep friendship with another person. This type of love is a more satisfying form of romantic love for the longer term. It’s possible to bring back the sparkle too.

Bet-David says that after around 90 days of intense love-making, a guy usually goes off his partner and looks around for someone new. Professor Lieberman agrees that this is normal. He confirms that humans are pair bonders. Marriage is an intention to stay together for life. Despite the high rate of divorce, by age of 50, 90% of people have made the intention to stay with someone for life. The conversation goes on.