Love – the most beautiful word on this planet. This one word has revolutionized the whole planet in an evolutionary way. Without this none of us might have been born. It is mother nature’s magical wand by the touch of which everything turns surreal and captivating.
It is the most important ingredient of human life. That’s why the tiniest glance at your dearly beloved can make you experience heaven right here on earth. Or as I have said in my book Love Sutra: The Neuroscientific Manual of Love, “who wants Jesus when you can have the warm embrace of the person who is the living embodiment of all your desires”.
But, despite all the delightful descriptions of love, why is it so hard to maintain a healthy relationship?
If the mental state of love is so soothing then why do people often fail to maintain a healthy relationship?
The answer lies deep within the neural network of the human brain.
In short the cause of failure in relationships is the perceptual difference between the male and female mind. It is all in the fascinating neurobiology of the human brain.
The point is, the male and female brain constructs a vivid and gender oriented mental universe. Thus, the male mind perceives every situation of daily life from a typically male perspective and expects the female to do the same, while the female brain observes everything in a feminine manner and expects the male to do the same. And from this very gender based perceptual conflict rise all the predicaments of a relationship.
Therefore, the only way to sustain a healthy relationship is to have a basic insight of your own as well as your partner’s mental universe.
And the very first thing to know about the male and female mental universe is that the female brain is a highly intuitive emotion engine, while the male brain is an analytical powerhouse.
Through millions of years of evolution, Mother Nature has molded the female brain to thrive over emotions, and the male brain to thrive over competition. From a cursory reading, a man and a woman may seem to be members of the same species. But they are neurologically distinct and unique creatures, who see the world from completely different perspectives.
They think differently, feel differently, get mad differently and even handle problems differently. The male brain is a problem solving machine that uses analytical brain structures to find solutions for basic problems of life, unlike the female brain that uses emotional neural structures to solve problems.
Men are born with uniquely masculine neurological circuits while women are born with uniquely feminine circuits. This is what we call sexual dimorphism in clinical terms. And this dimorphism in brain structure leads to distinctive cognitive and behavioral features in men and women. You can read about these fascinating sexually dimorphic features in Love Sutra: The Neuroscientific Manual of Love. In this book I have opened up the entire mental universe of men and women while giving a basic guideline for a healthy relationship.
Let me tell you a little more about the fascinating difference between the male and female mind. For example, the male brain is evolutionarily programmed to think about mating far more than women. And this programming has led men to have sexual thoughts more often throughout the day than the women. Women only have such thoughts four or less times in a day.
Another fascinating feature of the female brain is its retention of memories connected to emotional events in the long run. Women are much better at remembering emotional events of life in the long run than men. And off course, the female brain is a great emotion sensor. It is capable of picking up emotional cues from the facial expressions and other body movements of people. Men are not so good at this, for which women often blame the men to be less sensitive. And here’s a little tip for all the ladies out there. If you want to make your partner sense your emotions, you can do so by bursting into tears. That’s the only way, the male brain can feel there’s something wrong. It is plain biology.
And as for men, I’d like to tell you, your neurology may not be as emotionally sensitive as the women’s. But that does not mean you cannot grow the virtue of patience. All that women seek in men, is patience with a little tinge of perseverance. And thanks to the amazing neurological feature known as neuroplasticity, the human brain, male and female alike, can learn and adopt new features in the neural network.
It is all about making efforts from both sides of a relationship. Relationships don’t fail due to lack of love. Rather they fail because the partners lose touch with each other’s inner selves. They get lost in the storm of confusions and meaninglessness. One way or another they start fighting with each other’s biological instincts, that ultimately leads to misery.
You must remember, biological instincts are the driving force or rather guiding force of a species. Everything our ancestors learnt throughout their existence is encoded inside our instinctual blueprint. It is the key to understanding how every single human being is wired. The marvelous interplay of various brain circuits creates the instinctual reality of daily life in both men and women.
Regardless of your gender, if you are conscious about the fact that there lies a complex yet vividly beautiful brain circuit mechanism behind every single impulse of your daily emotions, then you can choose how to react upon each of those impulses. You can thus program your behavioral response in a certain situation for the best possible outcome.
(This Article was first published on Goodreads, under the title “Key to Love”)