Question From A Reader:
I have found your website a few months ago and read a lot of your articles, which are quite amazing.
I never did have the time to write about a specific problem of mine and i would appreciate your opinion about this. I heard actually so many different opinions about a lot of people and i guess i poisoned my mind.
I am involved for two years with a kind of on and off and on and off relationship, and i feel i cannot leave from this situation. This person has now idea of what he wants and the truth is a lot of things have gone beyond any boundaries. It’s a situation where i got lost and feel i lose my self and there are times i cannot recognize me. The other day i texted him and said “listen, i think it’s best for both of us to sit down and talk, in order to find a healthy track” and his answer was “it’s a good idea but i can’t this week, maybe sometime next week”. I think i have postponed things for a very long time, and the truth is i have been very patient for so long.
I sat down and thought about everything:
The fact that we are not right for each other because there is a bad vibe between us, he is very negative sometimes, does not know what he wants and cannot make a decision. Unfortunately there i one thing that keeps me going back, and i am ashamed to say it, and i don’t know why i keep doing it. It’s the “sexual part” that i really do like but that’s just it, nothing else!
I really want to move on, i don’t have regrets about the two years i have been with this person but i think that this story has reached to an end.
But how, it’s like i need something to shake me, cause i want to stop thinking about him most of the time. It’s like he has this power over me. Many times i tried to leave from this situation, but it was he would come back or i would go back.
I have my own house, a really good job that pleases me, i have no problem of my looks or the person i am in, i love my family and friends and i am always there for them when needed. But i also like my privacy sometimes, to read my books, make a nice meal and enjoy the moment, etc…
I would so much like to hear from you,
Answer From Shafin:
Let me try to give you a simple explanation to your situation:
1. You are right you do need a shake up for you to move forward. We humans are like that. As long as we can remain in the realm of understandable (our comfort zone) we keep doing what’s NOT working over and over and expect different results. Crazy, I know. But that’s how we are. I’ve been there too; sometimes I catch myself even these days!
2. Here is the biology behind your situation (bear with me here, it will make sense):
When we are in love with someone and we are having sex with them, here is what happens in your brain…
First, the part called Ventral Tegmental Area (VTA) lights up and releases dopamine (the feel good neuro-transmitter for motivation and reward). Dopamine is addictive and intoxicating. Its presence makes us giddy with pleasure, which is why the lack of it also makes us irritable.
Now it doesn’t stop there. From VTA, the next area that activates is the Nucleus Accumbens (NAc), the area for intense pleasure and also anticipation of pleasure. Over here men get a huge shot of testosterone and Vasopressin (I’ll tell you what happens with those in a bit) and women get flooded with estrogen and oxytocin.
Testosterone makes men aggressive. Vasopressin makes them territorial and protective of their mate and turf. Estrogen on the other hand makes women all feminine and loving, and oxytocin is the bliss chemical that makes them float in pleasure and bliss.
Now here is where the magic happens… (pay attention here)
After NAc, the next section that activates is the Caudate Nucleus (CN), which is the area of the brain that memorizes the look, feel and identity of the person who is giving the pleasure. The more pleasure you get from this person, the more regularly you get the pleasure, the more chiseled he gets in your long term memory.
What does that mean? It means you will not only seek this person over and over for giving you your shot of dopamine + oxytocin but also you will reject others from coming close to you. Why? Because your brain has memorized the identity of the one specific person from whom it wants its drugs from. It’s nature’s way of increasing our fidelity.
So what is the solution? To solve any problem you need to understand it first. Understanding a problem is 50% solving it. So now you know that your body is addicted to the happy drugs that it believes it can get only from this one person. You need to change that. It’s not going to be easy but at least now you know why it’s happening.
1. Start dating other people, even though you will probably not like it first. Remember the brain is stuck on this one guy. Let it be. Ignore it like a pebble in your shoe. Its there, nothing you can do for now, so just dance.
2. Remember when you’ll try to stay away from him you will feel a tremendous pull. Normally you’d think its love for him or you miss him. Now you know you are actually missing the dopamine. Your brain is craving the happy drug to feel good. Distract yourself in times of this withdrawal syndrome. Go watch a fun movie. Go out with friends. Eat some chocolates, they cause dopamine release in the brain. Eat almonds, same thing, not as quick as chocolate, but same effect.
3. Go for a vacation somewhere far away if you can. And DO NOT talk to him on the phone while you are out there. Meet new people.
4. Be creative and figure out your own solution, now that you understand the problem a bit better.
Finally, before I end today, here’s a bit of good news for everyone: in a week or two I will be launching a totally free video course called “The Psychology of Attraction”. It will be a crash course on attraction, seduction, evolution and much more. Look out for my email that should reach your inbox sometime in the next couple of weeks (fingers crossed) :) Also if you want to ask any specific questions on this topic, write it in the comment below, I will take the top questions and answer it in the upcoming video course.
Till then, spread the love and make this world a little better today!
Shafin de Zane, CHT, MH, MNLP
Hypnotherapist, Author, Spiritual Coach