Falling and being in love is a beautiful thing…Its one of those things that everyone of us has experienced but sometimes it doesnt always go as planned. The ones we have a serious crush on(those we are in love or lust with) dont return the favor(feelings)and it can be quite painful…Anyway, moving on swiftly, we always end up frustrated and the more they pull away the more you are attracted to them…Sometime you just want to call them and ask them, “why, am i not attractive enough or am I not good enough?” You know, you start feeling less attractive,less educated, the whole works and your self esteem issues start coming with full force….
It is quite normal to feel that way….It is more of a temporary condition and thanks Pinocchio it goes away with time. However, sometimes it takes forever to go away. The ‘condition’ we are talking about here is known as FRUSTRATION ATTRACTION. Dont beat yourself so hard, I am so sure everyone of us has had that guy or that lady who didnt return the feelings and the more they pushed you away the more you wanted them.
Humans have been wired in such a way that they hurt terribly when they are rejected by someone they like. There is increased brain activity when one is in love and this activity occurs in two different regions. These regions are the right ventral tegmental area (VTA) which is in the mid brain and the caudate nucleus which is a large c shaped region near the center. VTA is rich in cells that produce and distribute dopamine which is a powerful stimulant to the various parts of the brain; this includes the caudate nucleus. This is a part of he brain’s network that has control over the arousal (general arousal), focused attention as well as the motivation to get rewards. The parts or regions of caudate nucleus that become active when one is in love or lust if you like J are rich in dopamine receptors and they are associated with attention as well as the motivation to acquire rewards. When looked from such an angle, intense romantic love when in the early stages is associated with dopamanine rich areas.However, romantic love is not an emotion but rather a motivational state that’s designed to make us go after our object of interest. Just so you know, romantic love is a drive as powerful as hunger. Ever heard of people living and dying for love? Yeup! It does happen.
There is a possibility that even when one has been rejected there is still continued activity in the VTA and the other areas that have been associated with caudate nucleus. This is all because in matters of love,there are many other regions of the brain that are involved. Romantic rejection can be divided into two parts,these are; protest and despair or resignation. In the protest phase, the deserted lover tries all they can get their object of interest back or if it was a crush they try all they can to win their interest. They visit the places their crush visits and they make it look like a coincidence, they stalk them with emails, letters in the case of poets, phone calls whatsapp messages and anything else possible. As the rejection intensifies, so does the romantic passion.
Protest is a mammalian response associated with the rupturing of social ties. It is associated with dopamine as well as a neutronsmitter called neuropinephrine. When the levels of these two are elevated, there is heightened alertness and this this stimulates the abandoned animal to call for help and search foor the one that abandoned it;in this case the mother. When prospective ‘bae’ is rejected, there is increased levels of dopamine which in turn makes the person feel even greater passion. During this frustration period, the stress system is triggered. In the short term, the production of dopamine and neurotransmitters is triggered by stress. The protest phase of rejection might also trigger panic in the panic system of the brain which generates separation anxiety response making the animals call for their mother. At the same time, there is another brain system that becomes active and this is anger.i doesn’t matter of the breakup was amicable. Many jilted lovers move from a heartbreak to fury; this is known as abandonment rage. Unfortunately abandonment rage does not extinguish love. Infact,rage and romantic love can operate simultaneously because they are independent. That’s how you can be terribly angry at your ex or your object of interest for abandoning you and still be in love with them…weird huh?
Eventually,the jilted lover will give up which results into him or her dealing with new forms of torture; despair and resignation. These people are drugged by their sorrow and that’s why you will find them crying all the time, lying in bed staring at the ceiling or just staring into the space. They watch too much TV, they don’t want to be with people, they prefer being alone and once or more feelings of anger,protest and the need to reconcile in case of a breakup will resurface. When this happens the reward system of the brain realizes the reward will never come thus reducing the dopamine production. This will in turn result into despondency,lethargy and lastly depression. Depression, however, is a good thing in this case because it is a persons’s call for help. Sometimes depression can make a person face unpalatable truths and make tough decisions while at it.
Therefore, when you are feeling overly attracted to a person who rejected you, you aint stupid or something close to that. It is just a phase when one is in love or smitten with a cactus and it wears off with time. However, the rate at which it wears off is as different as people. Some take months while with some others, it can take even years.
I guess it’s true what they say, you never stop to love someone, you just learn to live without them. Love the loveable and leave the cactus alone J