Soul Sessions by CreativeMind

Your Brain on Love

September 21, 2021 Debra Berndt Maldonado and Robert Maldonado PhD Life Coach Training and Personal Transformation Experts Season 4 Episode 79
Soul Sessions by CreativeMind
Your Brain on Love
Show Notes Transcript

Continuing in this series, we delve into the neuroscience of what we know about the brain and the impact work has on the brain as well as understanding particular areas of the brain and how they function to help us in different areas of life.

In this episode we look at the neuropsychology of romantic love. Specifically, what happens in the brain when we fall in love, the neurophysiology of affection and bonding, and the experience of heartache.

Watch the next Soul Session in this series on our YouTube Channel.

Your Brain on Love


Debra Maldonado, Robert Maldonado

Debra Maldonado  00:00

Hello, welcome to another episode of Soul Sessions with Creative Mind.

Robert Maldonado  00:07

We're continuing our series on the brain. Last time we looked at success and the brain, our work and all that stuff. Now we're looking at love, which is your expertise.

Debra Maldonado  00:27

When you think of the title, my brain on love, the real question we want to answer is how do I find a lasting relationship? How do I find true love? How do I find that partnership that's going to last because there's so many stages of love and infatuation, and attracting to the wrong person. We're going to talk about the neuro psychological part of love, and also the spiritual part of love. Talking about whether we're really in love, or is it just our neurons firing and our biology ticking in, or genetics telling us this is the person we love. Let's start with just that assumption, when we talk about the brain on love, we're not saying that the brain is a cause of love. What we're saying is that the brain is expressing or recording and reacting and helping our body have the experience, but it's not the cause.

Robert Maldonado  01:32

That would be in alignment with what the research shows on how the brain works. Considering what we know about consciousness from wisdom traditions, the brain is the intermediary for our experience of love. But let's back up a little bit, because in the first part of the series on success, we mentioned this idea that you can't understand the brain and what it's doing without understanding the context of where it's doing it. It's a brain environment interaction that we're talking about, you can't really separate or take out the brain from its evolutionary environment and how it came about. That's an important piece, if you want to understand what the brain is doing, you have to understand context. For human beings, for us, culture is that environment. Culture is like our mom, it's the cradle, it's the womb that we exist in. Of course, culture includes language, religion, point of view, worldview, all those things that we consider important.

Debra Maldonado  03:03

They're registered in the brain, but the brain doesn't create these states, it's desire to get the feedback and then record.

Robert Maldonado  03:13

You mentioned record a couple of times. What do you mean by that?

Debra Maldonado  03:16

It's stimulated by the environment, it's an exchange versus the brain is creating everything. That's what I mean. When I say record, I mean storing information. So it repeats the patterns.

Robert Maldonado  03:33

One of the useful concepts in neuroscience is this idea of level of analysis. That means that there's different entry points into a subject. When we say the brain, what level are we entering that conversation, it's important to clarify that, because you can enter it at a molecular level. You can say, let's look at the molecules of the brain and what it's made out of, or even deeper than that, what is the quantum mechanics of the brain doing? But for our purposes, we're looking at the cellular level, at the level of neurotransmitters and how it's operating at that level? We should also mention the genetics of course. Everything begins with genetics because if you think, how did we get here? It's a long line of my parents and their parents and going back generations. If you follow that line, of course, it goes back into ancient history, Neanderthals and pre-human, and then animal life, of course, from where those people evolved, and back to one cell animals. That genetic code is in you, that is in every cell in your body and gives you that connection to everything that's alive, the trees, the mushrooms, the animals, we're all related, whether we like it or not. And whether we acknowledge it or not, we are part of this huge system that is our inheritance.

Debra Maldonado  05:27

A lot of people feel like why do I make these irrational choices in life. It's because we're carrying with us this ancient system of cellular memory that we're carrying through. There's also epigenetics, which they just discovered, that your ancestors, not only their genes, but the experience they had — if they went through the Holocaust, or if they went through a World War, or a famine, or a pandemic, there are certain things that turn on and off in the genes from that experience because it's the brain and environment. We are getting a lot of things that we didn't experience in our personal life, handed down to us. And of course, we have our own personal experience. Let's define what does the brain do when it feels a love or attraction for someone? What's really the mechanism that's happening neurologically?

Robert Maldonado  06:32

The genetic code is set up to pass information on to the next generation. It's like our main mission, or one of our main missions in life, anytime you're given a body of any form, the main primary mission is for you to reproduce, to pass on the gene. It's built in. That's why there's so much alive on the planet, the urge is always there from the very beginning.

Debra Maldonado  07:08

Also from a social standpoint, from the brain. There's safety in numbers. We're wired to not want to be alone, there's something about being alone, a lot of people say that I feel like I'm single when I'm alone, and when I'm in a relationship, there's something more solid, like you have a family in it, you feel like you belong. Some people don't talk to their families anymore, they feel isolated. There's that yearning for connection. That's not only just because it's a beautiful emotional need, but also from a survival standpoint, from our pre-human experiences of being in a herd, being in a in a tribe.

Robert Maldonado  07:53

There's this primary mission to pass on the genes, to reproduce. Nature and humans through culture find many ways of expressing that. You see dating sites, you see people hooking you up to blind dates, you see people introducing you to somebody that you might like, introduce you that way. Or just simply people meet on the street, people meet by chance, in the elevators, and they end up being together.

Debra Maldonado  08:31

There's this social pressure that people don't realize when you're single. I was single till I was in my 40s. I had the social pressure of the family asking, have you met someone yet? When will you get married? I went to a gynecologist once, and the nurse was like taking my stuff. She's asking my family history and goes “You're 38? You don't have any kids yet?” I said no. And she said “Well, you better get started.” I was like “I don't have a relationship.” She made me feel so guilty because it’s biological, your eggs are shrinking and all these things. We have these other pressures, but also other people are uncomfortable with people being single. They want everyone matched up because it also makes them feel like they don't have to worry about that person that they're off on their own, being alone, that really deep need to be a part of a tribe.

Robert Maldonado  09:26

At the level of human interaction, human culture, you see these three systems that evolved. The primary one is that sexual attraction. Especially if you think about your teenage years on, there's so much attention and emphasis on finding the mate, finding sex and how to do it.

Debra Maldonado  09:54

flirting, so yeah, yeah, like finding I have a crush on this person. Yeah.

Robert Maldonado  09:59

That's one of the systems that's identified in neuroscience, this sexual urge, need. We're hardwired for that, it's built in. The second system is more of the attraction. Who are the individuals that we're interested in? Who are viable partners for us? How do we approach them? How do we get them to go out with us and all that system of attraction.

Debra Maldonado  10:35

One of the primary things we look for is health. Because we want to merge, we’re looking for someone who's going to — like a man to be strong, to have strong genes, for a woman to have wide hips and the breasts, to feed the baby, nurse the baby, and make strong children. We scan the body. There's something about symmetry of the face that shows how good your genes are.

Robert Maldonado  11:05

There's some research that shows that we're even using smell and pheromones that we give off, unconsciously we're gauging this individual for their health and reproductive viability. You got the sexual drive, the attraction system, and then the bonding system. So three distinct systems that of course are interrelated. But we know they're distinct because you can have sex with somebody that you don't love, or you're not even attracted to, we know that happens unfortunately. These systems are all leading us in the same direction — the genetic predisposition to pass on the genes. But they're playing out in different ways, the sexual attraction, the mate selection, the bonding, staying with somebody on the long term, marriage and long term couples.

Debra Maldonado  12:25

When we're sexually attracted to someone and we do find them attractive, we're thinking that maybe I want to hang around this person, I want to start bonding, it's a mutual thing usually, you feel that there's a hook in there, there's a little bit of back and forth, unless you become a stalker, and it's just one way. But usually, there's a little bit of both, maybe a push and pull type of thing. We start to bond with that person. What happens in the brain on that bonding level?

Robert Maldonado  13:04

If we look at what's going on in our brain, and it's really a mind body, or a brain body situation, there’s very powerful hormones happening that are aiding in that process. Depends on the scientific viewpoint. There are neuroscientists who say it's all neuro chemistry because we've received these neuro transmitters and hormones operating. Whereas I think a more realistic point of view is that these are the mechanisms that the brain and the body are using. But they have to be triggered by the context, by the situation, and by the meaning that that situation is giving us.

Debra Maldonado  14:01

It's not that what happens in the brain doesn't cause the love. But it's the effect of that interaction with that person genetically attracted attraction wise, then you start to have the urge to merge and want to bond. The brain is saying this is how we're wired. The wiring itself, the neurotransmitters and the things that happen in the brain, the hormones that happen, what is really happening chemically is there's oxytocin that gets released.

Robert Maldonado  14:44

One of the strongest bonds that we know between two human beings is the mother and the child. It's one of the most powerful ones. The mother will sacrifice often her own life for the baby, which is a powerful bond that exists between two human beings. When the mothers is done to breastfeed the baby, the actual act of the baby suckling on her breast releases oxytocin into our system. That's a powerful hormone that aids in that bonding process. It operates on the brain in different brain centers that have to do with losing fear. You notice that when you're in love, when you really trust somebody, there's no fear. You feel very comfortable, you feel very safe. It's operating at that level, it's disarming our defenses, allowing us to open up to this person in a very intimate way.

Debra Maldonado  16:01

You and I were talking earlier, this chemical that's released with the mother and the child is from the lips. I was saying is that why kissing with someone releases that same? Of course, there's a lot of connectors there, but there's something about that early memory of love that we remember. That's why it feels so good to kiss people.

Robert Maldonado  16:29

Playful love lovemaking, playful interaction is preparing the couple for the baby essentially, for being silly and playful and interacting that way. Lovers call each other baby. It's built in, we're getting ready for the baby. Although we might not even be conscious of it. We know from research, the orgasm releases a lot of other similar hormones and neurotransmitters. Oxytocin plays in big time, that afterglow of sex, where you feel very relaxed, very intimate. You're bonding with this person big time.

Debra Maldonado  17:31

That's why I always think men and women are slightly different there, women get more attached after sex, my own personal experience.

Robert Maldonado  17:48

There are some theories, for example, if you think, the woman has to be a little bit more selective because she has only a certain amount of eggs to contribute to the passing on the genes, whereas the man has a lot of sperm to contribute. So the men can be a little bit more squanderous with their genetic contribution.

Debra Maldonado  18:18

That's why women, when they have sex, want to bind with that person, because they could be pregnant and that person better stay around. It's more of a biological urge than “I think I love him.” Don't leave because I may have to bear your child. At a deep level, of course, there's so many levels.

Robert Maldonado  18:40

There's always exceptions. In biology there are no hard and fast rules. Men are more likely to cheat in general, but we know that women also cheat.

Debra Maldonado  18:53

I've coached single women for forever, it always seems that after they have sex with a person, it raises the bar in the relationship where if they were just dating a bunch of people, then the one they have sex with is the one that they're more drawn to, or they feel like they have to do something with. Even if it's the wrong logical person for them, they're attached in some way. It could be the sex and the bonding that happens, but also that idea of “I'm not spreading my seed around, what's happening?” Let me ask you this. We bond with someone, we have a relationship. What I read is that the brain has certain pathways that it creates just for that person. When you even think of that person, it releases oxytocin, they start feeling good. You talk to that person on the phone when they call or they text you. We start to get this reward system that's really wired for this person. This is another reason from a neurological standpoint, why we freak out when they don't text us back. Then we feel relief when they do. It's that reward system.

Robert Maldonado  20:23

We started off with a bonding but that's actually the end point. Before that there's that romantic stage. That's what you're talking about. In the romantic phase, which is the selection, we're looking for the one or the partner that we're going to spend hopefully the rest of our lives with, this neurotransmitter, which is a little bit different than the hormones — hormones are long term processes that go on in the brain, in the body. But neurotransmitters is to give us a quick fix, a shot of adrenaline. The main culprit for that is dopamine. Dopamine is similar to when people snort cocaine or caffeine or nicotine, it's a quick fix, you get high off of it. When you meet somebody that you really like, this neurotransmitter kicks in, you get a high vibe, and you crave it, you want to experience that again, you want that high feeling again.

Debra Maldonado  21:57

We confuse that sometimes with real love, we think “I must be in love.” I used to think I have this feeling for this person, this attraction. I must be in love, there's other people that I don't feel that with. We want to make sure we understand that it could be love, but it could just be neurotransmitters hitting off, and the bonding, the brain interacting with the environment to create this attachment and bonding with this person. Let's say we have all these pathways in the brain for Joe, you are dating for a month or two, you're binding and binding. Then Joe decides he doesn't want to be in a relationship anymore. Your brain has all these pathways for Joe. Every time you think of Joe, now there's no reward, there's no dopamine, then we have a heartache. It's almost as if you're withdrawing. After you break up, you logically know it's over, but the brain is still having these pathways for that person. When I read and understood that, I thought — a lot of women are so smart, or even men, they're educated, and they break up and just can't get over someone. Your body is also working against you. It's not like you're weak in any way or there's something damaged in you that you can't get over someone, we're built in our system to connect. We have to override that or create a new system. But until that happens, that's why love and breakups are so painful. There's also the psychological element of it too, but biologically, even just that craving that's not being met can be turned into pain.

Robert Maldonado  23:57

What is happening there is that the dopamine is hitting the reward centers very deep in the brain, literally the brain stem, some of the oldest parts of the brain and of the limbic system — the emotions, which means you're not going to be thinking rationally. It actually overrides the rational executive functioning of the brain where you're not able to think rationally, you're more going on need for that feeling, almost like an addiction. You want more of that, you need more of that.

Debra Maldonado  24:41

One option is to try to get the person back and become a stalker, drive by their house, you might even get a relief from just driving by their house or looking at their Facebook profile. You can get obsessed. Or you could go and redirect that addiction— I wouldn't say addiction, but the craving to a new subject, they become the object of your affection, you're getting a high from that person. Or you go back to the ex before then because you know they're safe, they're going to give you a little high. But then normally, that doesn't last, it's not as strong. Is that why if someone is really predictable, they like you, it's not as high, as if it's someone you can't have? There’s something about that chasing. Freud called it the joyful return, this hide and seek that they pull away, then they come back, and they pull away. That's why we keep going back to people, because the reward system is so high when we get back.

Robert Maldonado  25:59

If you think about reward, it's the anticipation of that pleasure that we're craving. The build up is much more powerful than the actual experience of the reward. Chasing the reward, building up the anticipation of “When I get that reward, it's going to be great” is what hooks people into that. People that play hard to get are more attractive in a sense. The harder they are to get, the more we want them.

Debra Maldonado  26:40

I was reading a while back, I read so many books on love when I was doing all the love coaching. One book was written by psychologists, they said the number one indicator of romantic love is uncertainty. That was one thing they found in common. When they weren't certain if the person liked them back their romantic feelings were higher. That's why when you meet a nice guy or girl, and they look good on paper, they're open and ready for you, your brain doesn't go “Whoo!” It goes “Okay. I don't know, I wanted that craving, I want the dopamine, give me that dopamine.” If don't examine ourselves, if we don't examine our psychology, our past, and just operate on that physical level of mind brain, body urges, we're going to not have that full experience of love. We need to add in that other layer. Next layer is the psychological layer that goes on top of that, that actually is not separate from the brain. It's part of the whole process, we can't separate the mind from the body. Psychologically, according to Jung, we're always attracted to someone who is most likely our shadow self. The things that we don't think we have in ourselves, we tend to look for that in a mate to complete ourselves in a way. If we don't think we're that great, our shadow would be the opposite, someone who's bold and courageous. When we see someone who's bold and courageous, we want to hook up with them, because it's like “Now I can add that part. We have both sides together.” 

Robert Maldonado  28:34

That's a good way to look at Jung's philosophy and theory. We're looking for the other part of ourselves in a way. What the relationship does, it forces us to look at our shadow. But if we don't understand what's happening, if we think it's the other person that's making my life miserable, or on the other side of the coin, say the other person is bringing love to me and giving me all this beautiful emotion, then we're missing the point. We're not able to really use the experience for our self development. Because we're projecting, we're thinking it's the other person that is doing this to me, when in reality what is happening is that we're projecting all this beauty — when we fall in love, we experience this other person as divine. Beyond the neurotransmitters and the scope of events that's hitting our brain, in the mind, we are having a transcendent experience. It's almost like a feeling of God. Some people say this is the closest I've gotten to God, this feeling of love that I have for this person. If you think how powerful that is, that we should be able to bond with a complete stranger that a year before didn't exist.

Debra Maldonado  30:23

You're inviting the stranger into your house. I think biologically, that's why we have those mechanisms to get us hooked in to a person because otherwise no one would ever get together. It's hard enough already. But if we didn't have the brain, we probably would never even date or meet up.

Robert Maldonado  30:45

These mechanisms have to be very powerful in order for that bonding to occur. If you go back to the biology, we see that it's about passing on the genes, being able to raise a family, all these incredibly practical things that make that life continuation, it continues along into the next generation.

Debra Maldonado  31:16

Let's say you didn't look at those psychological— that would be someone who falls in love. I've noticed this too, a lot of couples get excited about the wedding, then it's the wedding. They're excited about the next thing, then the first baby, then the second baby. Then the marriage just doesn't get stimulated, that reward system. “He's there all the time, I don't have to worry.” Mystery is taken away. It's something that you have to cultivate. I went to a wedding once. The rabbi said “Marriage is a long, dull meal with dessert served in the beginning. A successful marriage is to serve dessert throughout the meal.” I think that's a really beautiful thing that we get lost in that one expression, then we think that initial bond is going to just carry us. I think that's why when people go to break up, and then they come back together, that reunion, that breakup sex, it's so much more intense because of all these biological things that are happening in us, but also psychologically, we're connecting, we're completing a part of ourselves.

Robert Maldonado  32:37

Throughout cultural history, people married into families and bonded not only with their mate, but with the family system, and now a lot of that structure is gone. Now two people are alone essentially, without that extended family structure because people meet and move off to another city. Then they're pretty much this little family unit.

Debra Maldonado  33:09

Like you and I. But we're close to family.

Robert Maldonado  33:13

We have a lot of family around us. But it's not as supportive as it used to be. Now people have a lot more challenge to stay together. But you see that it's still happening, people still find a way to find each other, to bond and get married, and have kids.

Debra Maldonado  33:41

The question is how do I find someone for the rest of my life? How do I find that lasting, fulfilling love? The key I believe, and I'm sure you agree, is personal growth and individuation, as Jung would say. It is knowing who you are and constantly in that growth mode versus that stagnation, very externally focused, acquiring earthly things, but not really developing spiritually and growing yourself, individuating from the ego and really going beyond, breaking the bonds of the body, the psychology, the conditioning, and really having a higher level of love that we can have. The Greeks call it the agape, the higher spiritual love. I would think that that's really love in its purest sense.

Robert Maldonado  34:45

I would say that this biological urge to merge and then the psychological emotional experience of bonding is leading us towards that agape, to the opening up of the heart to understand that we're all seeking the same thing. But all the spiritual traditions teach that you need to cultivate that. Yes, that's there. But you need to work at it.

Debra Maldonado  35:24

In other words, it doesn't happen by default. Exactly. If

Robert Maldonado  35:27

If you follow simply the natural urges that are in your mind body system, they’re going to lead you to sex and lust, and wanting more and more. But when you're deepening that understanding of what is this experience of love and of having kids and wanting to bond with people, it’s leading you towards that deeper realization that we're all connected, that all life is worth nurturing and taking care of. That's agape. It's a universal love, not only for your family, but for everyone and everything.

Debra Maldonado  36:11

There's a difference between wanting someone to stay with you because they're safe, they make you feel safe on a biological level, I feel comfortable with this person and they're staying with me to the consistency of having this deeper spiritual connection because that's that unchanging part of ourselves. To connect with a person on that level, your unchanging self and my unchanging self, the divine in me recognizes the divine in you. There's something that will transcend the body and the mind. When I met you, it felt different. You have all those other elements, you have the sexual element and the flirtatious, but it had this other element that I'd never experienced before. It was a feeling of being home, like I've returned home, there was something deeply familiar about you and your energy was just so grounded. I don't know if you thought the same way about me. It's something that's beyond the “I hope he likes me, I hope we're gonna have sex soon”, or flirtatiousness, it was just this other place. I think the potential is there for everyone as long as both parties are on the path of growth. If you're on the path of growth, I highly encourage you to check in and ask yourself — is your partner or the partners you're dating on a path of growth. Because if you are growing and they're stagnating, eventually there's going to be a disconnect. You want to really find someone who's open to where you are. If you're not into personal growth, then it doesn't matter. You’ll find another person to biologically connect with. But I know a lot of you listening are on a spiritual path. And it's so important. I remember when I was single, before I met you, my friends would be like “Don't worry about finding a guy who’s spiritual.” Some matchmaker told me “You can teach him.” I'm like “I don't want to teach anyone, I want someone who I can have conversations with, we can learn from each other.” We've been together 16 years almost. It's always new because we're always growing, you and I are always evolving, so it can never get stagnant. That's really when we answer the question of what creates lasting love. It is that you are with someone who's a partner on your journey, beyond just the biological and psychological patterns, you're transcending into something really wonderful. Those things are nice too. But it's just that other level of love that I think many people seek. 

Robert Maldonado  39:08 

When Jung was studying these things, he looked at a lot of cultures around the world. What he noticed was that a lot of these traditional cultures had very specific rituals and systems to help people go through the transformation in a symbolic and supportive way. You weren't left onto your own devices to figure out love. There was knowledge, there was a structure to it. A lot of those structures we see in the Catholic tradition or in other Christian traditions as well. They were there to help the individual understand that they were more than an individual thing, looking to find a mate, it was playing into community, into your spiritual life, into a bigger process. The rituals are still there, baptism and marriage where they say “What's joined here on earth is joined in heaven.”

Debra Maldonado  40:29 

Which is a very powerful statement. A lot of people don't realize that when you're married in a church or even by a priest, or that ceremony with your family around, it's very important. It's not to be taken lightly like it's a big party. 

Robert Maldonado  40:44 

That's what Jung was saying. The rituals are there, but the meaning has been lost. The supporting culture around that has been lost, because it's fragmented. If you just go through a ritual, it doesn't mean it hits the mark. You have to undergo that transformation from within. That's why he was developing that whole psychology of the hero's journey, individuation, the ability to take people through this transformation, so that they could then take advantage of the rituals and use the rituals as a way of enacting that deeper transformation, not only in themselves, within their family, in their love life, in the community, and in their spiritual life.

Debra Maldonado  41:42

One last question. Are the people we’re attracted to reflective of our level of growth? Normally we resonate with people that are on our level. If we haven't done Shadow Work and are very attached, we'll tend to attract people on that level. As we grow, we start to create, or are attracted to a different level of person, more awake person, like more conscious, more aware. 

Robert Maldonado  42:21 

I would say that whoever you're attracted to at this moment, they're saying something about who you are, reflecting your unconscious mind. If you understand that principle, and are lucky enough to understand Jungian theory, or at least have access to a Jungian coach, then you can take advantage of this situation, because it's giving you an opportunity to understand your deeper self. 

Debra Maldonado  42:54 

Where most people will say, I want him to change, I want her to change, or try to bring them up to speed and get them along. But a person really needs to make that decision themselves. You can't force anyone to grow or like what you like. It's really about openness and openness to learn. What triggers you about that person, good or bad, is showing you something about your mind.

Robert Maldonado  43:22

It's that old saying, birds of a feather. If you're on your path, you're more likely to find people that are on similar paths.

Debra Maldonado  43:27

I've one more question. Let's say you get to agape love. How does the brain respond in agape love situation, higher spiritual love situation?

Robert Maldonado  43:39

When we look at Vedanta, or some of the Buddhist traditions, yoga philosophy, we know what they're after is total transformation, which transforms the mind body completely, restructures the way the brain works essentially. Because what happens when you de-identify with the ego, that's what love requires of you, isn't it?

Debra Maldonado  44:10

That's why people are afraid of commitment, because they don't want to let go of that selfish I. Don't change me, don't tell me to do something I don't want to do.

Robert Maldonado  44:20

When you're able to let go of your ego as the central focus of your psyche, you allow this more powerful sense of self to emerge, it changes your whole life, you're able to act in the world. You don't necessarily have to leave the world. You don't have to go off to a monastery. You can continue to work and grow family, be in a relationship, but you're living a spiritual life. You're perceiving the world as a spiritual human being instead of “I'm inside my head trying to survive, and the world is out there.”

Debra Maldonado  45:06

It's like you create a temple for the relationship. It's a temple that you both go and surrender your egos to. That would be a good visualization. We are merging on a higher level that really sometimes doesn't look the way other relationships I've seen before, when you're just going on the brain level or the psychological level. Next week we're going to talk about the brain on health and wellness and how the mind body works with the brain — losing weight, being healthy, staying young. We're going to teach you anti-aging tricks — not really. But how the body is really an extension of the mind and how the brain interacts with the environment and creates the patterns that we have in our body.

Robert Maldonado  46:03

I think the overriding message, the usefulness — because a lot of people tell us “Give me something practical to do.” The practical thing is pointing that the work is in your own mind. We tend to want to fix our partners or to change partners or find the right partner for us that’s going to make us happy. The work is finding that happiness, that wholeness within you, then you can share it with your partner.

Debra Maldonado  46:39

It's more about sharing what am I bringing to the relationship to share versus what am I bringing in the relationship to get. When we're in that get mentality we're coming from ego, when we're having that share mentality — not a doormat kind of sharing, over giving but sharing in this place of selflessness and being almost overflowing with feeling. You have something really great to contribute to this partnership, that person is going to feel so happy with the relationship. It's not that pulling like please give me validation, please give me that high, that dopamine. It's more like “I have some dopamine for you. Would you like some?” You're sharing it and enjoying it together. Anyway, great topic. I love talking about it. I feel closer to you now, Rob. We'll see you next week on Soul Sessions and have a great rest of your day.

Robert Maldonado  47:37

Thanks for watching. 

Debra Maldonado  47:39