Green, green, my heart is green...
October 3, 2013 7:46 AM Subscribe
What causes the weird possessiveness/jealousy experienced by many people when you fall in love?
posted by Phalene to human relations (18 answers total) 14 users marked this as a favorite
Apparently not everyone experiences this. However I've noticed, among many people, myself included, the early wallop of limerance seems to create an absurd feeling of entitlement to the object of obsession's time and an almost stabby reflex regarding the 'competition'.
It seems like human sexuality mostly takes this for granted when we talk about it, as well as in fiction. Whether it's Taylor Swift warbling away about her crush's girlfriend's vapidity, or Jane Eyre casting the person she thinks Mr. Rochester is going to marry into absurd opposition to herself (prettier than her but meaner than her), it appears to be a well entrenched concept. I've also noticed myself basically go into a "HE IS MINE!" mode, even when I have zero interest in dating said hapless chap.
From my perspective it's embarrassing and irrational, especially the jealousy side- I don't mind getting the glow sensation from a cute man and making him into my muse, being able to 'smell' something pleasant around him, and over inflating his value as a human for six months. It's kinda stupid, but tolerable. But, viewing other women as 'rivals' is weird and makes me feel like a crazy person. It's not like fighting someone over a person you've glued to would even work, and just as I consciously am aware my crushes are never as pretty as I think they are, the people I'm being jealous at are always blameless.
For me, I'm not really concerned with how to deal with it (not being stabby in behaviour seems to work okay) or how to handle love-crush (do not stalk, make art) but what is going on in the meat.
So what is causing this? Is it a hormonal thing? Is there a measurable other animal equivalent? Some sort of evolutionary ghost from when I was supposed to butt heads and pee on things?