Helen Fisher, Why We Love: The Nature & Chemistry of Romantic Love Review

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Harriet Klausner's review of Helen Fisher, Why We Love: The Nature and Chemistry of Romantic Love


“Why We Love: The Nature and Future of Romantic Love ”

Written on: 08/02/2004 by Harriet Klausner (18660 reviews written)

Why We Love: The Nature and Future of Romantic Love

Helen Fisher

Holt, 2004, $25.00, 302 pp.

ISBN: 0805069135

This intriguing look at why we love responds to that question and more such as when we fall out of love and implies why cheating on one's love occurs. Using survey techniques applied globally and scrutinizing available governmental records to gather information and evaluate research data on human behavior, behavioral anthropologist Helen Fisher insists that romantic behavior is caused by two crucial chemicals produced by the brain. When a person falls in love, the brain generates major increases of energy that leads to positive and negative reactions such as passion, elation, obsession, and jealousy. Most interesting is the thesis on love amongst prehistorical mankind that insists that "four-year birth intervals were the regular pattern of birth spacing during our long human prehistory". The author insists this has been wired into our modern brains to remain monogamous for four years. World wide data shows that a higher than normal divorce rate occurs during the fourth year of marriage especially when one child has been born.

This is more than just a scientific look at love. Instead Dr. Fisher provides an intriguing argument on WHY WE LOVE and why we fall out of love. Though the emphasis is chemical and data oriented, Dr. Fisher also provides tips to stay in love that includes focusing on the positive emotions. Fascinating well written as a reference tome that provides insight yet the easy to read WHY WE LOVE: THE NATURE AND FUTURE OF ROMANTIC LOVE is fun to follow.

Harriet Klausner

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