Read an Excerpt
You Hold the Key to Falling in Love
The process of falling in love begins with an initial attraction between two people. At the very beginning, this is largely a chemical process.
Now, have you ever noticed that as soon as someone falls in love, dozens of other suitors seem to fall out of the trees in pursuit! Isn't it ironic? Perhaps you've even experienced this yourself. Where were they when we were alone?
Paradoxically, the easiest way to find love is to be in love. This sounds like a catch-22: to find love we must be attractive, but we are most attractive when we are in love! The secret to attracting others is not to appear attractive (although that plays a part, of course), but rather to be attractive.
Wouldn't it be great if we could somehow re-create in ourselves the physiological state of love, even if we didn't yet have love in our life? By re-creating the physiological state of love in ourselves, we would naturally become more attractive, since our body's biochemistry can't tell the difference from the real thing.
Well, you can become a "love magnet," drawing compatible partners to you effortlessly. How? Simply by seeking pleasure. Pleasurable activities reproduce virtually the same physiological state we experience when we are in love. The trick is that when we don't have love in our lives, we tend to avoid the very joyous and pleasurable activities that would make us more attractive.
Loving and being in love, then, are natural states. You don't have to do anything to find love. Love will come into your life if you simply remove the obstacles that are standing in its way. And we start the process by creating love nottomorrow but today, right now.
Welcome Back: Reviewing Your First Exercise
By now, you've completed the exercise on page xiii. When you began it, the assignment may have seemed easy. What could be simpler? Someone is not only asking me to indulge myself, but insisting on it!
But many people report that the assignment was more difficult than they had imagined. Often people find they don't know how to go about indulging in pleasurable activities without feeling awkward. Others actually report an internal resistance to giving themselves pleasure.
How did you feel? Be honest. Were you self-conscious? Did you feel self-centered? A bit awkward? Guilty? Undeserving? Too depressed to enjoy yourself?
Love and joy are synonymous. The state of love and being in love is one of intense pleasure. Although a love relationship can be an enormous source of pain, the perceptual, physical, emotional, and energetic experience of love itself is the experience of pleasure.
The Practical Intuition(TM) in Love program is not about waiting to find the "perfect" mate or lover, or waiting for your current relationship to improve. It's about learning how to take joy and pleasure in the here and now. Which is another reason why we did the "pleasure experiment" before anything else.
Before Falling in Love, You Must FirstFall into a State of Pleasure
Love--chemically, emotionally, and psychically--occurred in you long before you actually arrived at the age of sexual development or met a mate. As a child, you experienced it with your parents, your friends, your toys, your pets, your ideas, your favorite foods or places. You fell in love with things, people, and experiences that brought you comfort and pleasure.
Do you remember when you were a teenager, before you had your first sexual attraction? Your best friend was everything. Or perhaps your dominant relationship was with your teacher, coach, or even a hero in a movie or book, or your plans and dreams. Earlier still it was with your mother or your father or your dog.
When you fall in love, you fall into a state of pleasure. Love is fundamentally about pleasure, both the pleasure we give and the pleasure we receive. Being able to experience pleasure fully is a precondition for falling in love with the right person.
By pleasure I do not mean simply sexual gratification, though sex is of course a very important part of being in love. Love begins when you are able to take pleasure in simple, everyday activities. Love, on a biochemical level, is a heightened sense of pleasure. We form our love relationships for a variety of reasons, but each one should be experienced in a way that increases pleasure in life.
Yet in my practice, I continually come across bad relationships in which partners are making each other's life miserable. Do we eat foods primarily for their nutritional content or for the pleasure they bring us? If you don't really like broccoli, do you force yourself to eat it--or do you try to change the experience of eating broccoli in ways to make it more pleasurable, such as adding spices or sauces?
The profound connection between love and pleasure can be demonstrated scientifically by measuring our physical responses. Our heart rate and respiration actually change when we see loved ones after a separation. A good movie or a good laugh can evoke a similar physiological response. Pleasurable objects and activities stimulate the loving part of ourselves.
We say there is "spark" to love, and that lovers should have good "chemistry." These are not just metaphors. It may be unromantic to contemplate, but it's important to remember that we are animals, with genetic, physical, and biological needs.I say this because a big part of falling in love is actually chemical.