“What’s your biggest insecurity or fear?”
“Falling in love right now.”
I asked that question to an externally portrayed confident man when he was giving me the honor of seeing him in a vulnerable state. He feared love because his number one priority was to maintain a concentrated mentality: focus on better himself academically, career-wise and altogether. You may say this is an excuse to not fall in love…but does new research indicate this man’s reasoning is accurate?
Freshly newfound passionate love is an exhilarating feeling and it’s scientifically proven that it can very well make us less productive.
43 participants in new relationships (meaning less than 6 months) were asked to perform specific tasks, including separating relevant and irrelevant information. The results? The participants ability to concentrate and perform the tasks were not present; “…high levels of passionate love of individuals in the early stage of a romantic relationship are associated with reduced cognitive control.” The study was conducted by researcher Henk van Steenvergen along with colleagues from Leiden University and the University of Marlyand.
“It could be that the obsessive nature of passionate love imposes important constants on performing well in tasks that require self-control,” Steenbergen shares.
Rae Padilla Francoeur (pictured to the right), the author of “Free Fall: A Late-in-Life Love Affair” (has GREAT reviews, check it out!), fell extremely head over heels for her current mate. Regardless of how emotionally ecstatic she was, the newfound love took a terrible toll on her health. She noted to becoming lightheaded, losing weight, not being able to sleep for days, quickened heart rate, and not being able to concentrate or eat. “I was happier than ever emotionally, even though I couldn’t eat and felt shaky all the time,” says the 67 year old from Maine.
Francouer lost 15 pounds almost immediately and her friends were concerned. One of her friends recalls her saying, during an outing at lunch: “she’s ordering everything on the menu [and I won’t have anything because] I can’t even swallow.” Psychologist Dorothy Tennov calls this: limerence: the obsessive, intrusive, and all-consuming state we’re in where we justify letting work, friends, responsibilities — even ourselves — slide so we can satisfy our overly-enthusiastic need for our new partner.
Jennifer Nelson of today.com says: “[You lose your concentration]. You may think very clearly, but you can’t think about anything but him or her. It’s the dopamine that gives you that obsessive focus. Romantic love is an obsession. You’re focused-just not on work or your to-do list.”
Have you ever found yourself in love and incapable of concentrating on other responsibilities? Or would you say you have the capability of balancing out everything very well?