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Some psychologists believe that our attraction to our partners is tied to early experiences and crushes from our childhood.

 

Psychologist John Money coined the term “love map” to describe one’s blueprint for the perfect mate, both sexually and otherwise. It is the unconscious outline in your mind of what love should look like. Your love map is mostly the result of early childhood preferences and experiences. Much of it was imprinted before you knew what to make of it — a delicious smell, a beautiful hair color, a great sense of humor. It is a map of what is significant to you sensually, based on what resonated with you as a child.

Your love map is pretty fluid until about age seven and then solidifies in its most fundamental form. However, love maps can be redrawn throughout your developmental years as a result of big events or relationships in your life. Your first love might set a pattern of attraction, either because it went so well or so wrong. Or your parents’ divorce and your dad’s subsequent emotional departure might cause you to seek out unavailable men.

Understanding your love map can help you have better relationships. When you and your partner fit together like two pieces of a puzzle, it’s for a variety of reasons — both good and bad. The upside of being with someone who fits the outline of our love map is that we get to experience that frenzied, euphoric lust that sparks between two people who have a unique chemistry. The downside is that we may be drawn to someone who resurrects conflicts, big or small, from our childhood. It’s why we’re able to fall madly in love, only to find ourselves in a relationship tangle that seems impossible to manage.

Since our love maps are outlined before we even reach adulthood, they are generally based on watching the model of our parents’ relationship or from childhood crushes and societal structures. If you grew up with parents who exhibited a healthy and loving relationship, you will likely draw certain positive subconscious (and conscious) conclusions about what a relationship should look like. You will also gain very personal ideas about how men and women should treat each other, including how sexual attraction should manifest in a relationship.

Of course, few people have a perfectly idyllic childhood, but this doesn’t mean that your love map is doomed from thestart. Even if your parents didn’t have an amicable marriage, you might have gained valuable insights and a clear idea of what you want and need from a partner. Perhaps your love map might lead you to choose partners who challenge you or partners who make you look deeply at yourself and become the best you can be.

To make sure that you are following a healthy love map, it’s important to first examine what qualities attract you to someone and why. Identify the major factors that have influenced your love map, learn what you need and expect in a relationship, and commit yourself to finding a relationship that meets your expectations and needs in a healthy way. Like the old saying goes, those who don’t understand history are doomed to repeat it… especially when it is your history!

 

Source: Dr. Laura Berman

What Is Your Map to Perfect Love?

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Chemistry is one class you don’t want to fail!

We often hear people talk about “chemistry” or “sparks,” but when it comes down to it, these sensations are hard to define. Sexy means different things to different people. You might be a sucker for blondes, while your friend loves a great pair of legs or freckled skin.

Our sexual interests are unique, varied, and often a compete mystery to us. For instance, have you wondered why it is that you always seem to fall for guys with dark complexions, or why you go for women who wear glasses? It might seem like just a coincidence, but the truth is that our sexual desires run deep, and they are often connected to experiences from our childhood.

The lovemap theory, which was created by psychologist John Money, Ph.D., suggests that our desires are deeply rooted in past experiences. For example, let’s say you grew up next to a young boy who had dark hair and a sweet personality. Years later, you still find yourself seeking out dark haired men with a romantic spirit. Or maybe you had a red-haired teacher who was always caring and thoughtful, and years later, you still might get a positive boost when you see a red-haired woman.

Along with physical lovemaps, we also have behavioral lovemaps. Many of us have a “type,” whether it be bad boys, smart girls, or outgoing class clowns. Whatever your type, your relationship choices are no accident. We tend to act out the relationship patterns we saw as a child in our own homes, whether that was healthy or unhealthy, and many of these subconscious cues factor into chemistry and physical attraction.

All of these mental triggers start chiming the minute you meet someone, as your brain collects the visual clues and relates them back to your memories. As you subconsciously relate these clues back to your lovemaps, you might feel everything from instant attraction to platonic feelings to disinterest. You might not be able to figure out exactly why you feel the way you do, but those strong, instantaneous feelings won’t lie!

And, remember, while it is possible to walk into a room and feel sparks and connection with someone right away, that is just the tip of the iceberg when it comes to love. Unless there is something strong and sturdy holding that iceberg in place, then it doesn’t stand a chance when real life sets in and brings with it kids, careers, family stress, aging, illness, and all of the other facts of life.

You can’t possibly create that deep, abiding love with someone in an instant. That’s what makes real love so precious and worthwhile. It doesn’t just strike you out of nowhere or hit you like a ton of bricks. Instead, it changes you and causes you to grow into the best possible version of yourself, teaching you lessons of patience, fidelity, and communication. It might take only a moment for you to know whether you have chemistry with someone, but it takes much longer than that for you to develop real, lasting, life-changing love.

 

Source: Dr. Laura Berman

Sexual Chemistry