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Coping With Infatuation Goggles
You, too, can see through the thick of Infatuation Goggles. Even with Valentine’s Day in the air, there’s still hope.
Last week, I wrote about Infatuation Goggles and the science of crushes. They don’t call them “crushes” for no reason. Under the influence of infatuation, our brains do neurochemical backflips that produce stimulant-like effects. Since then, I’ve come up with a formula. My Code Rose Strategy involves reality-testing for the sake of remaining grounded. That way, you can determine how “rosy” you are at any given moment and how to act accordingly.
Your crushes aren’t all your fault, but your brain’s fault. Thanks to Stevie Martin and Dr. Blumberg, I now know your limbic brain is responsible not only for your crushes, but for the dopamine you crave when you have them. Sex produces dopamine, so that might be why the limbic brain can make us feel so magnetized towards particular individuals. Your cortex saves the day by giving you control over your actions.
“Thankfully, our cortexes keep our rampant limbic brain in check for most of the time,” explains Stevie Martin, “but when it bubbles to the surface... well, that’s when a crush happens.”
When you’re infatuated, your brain lacks dopamine. In order to compensate, you can eat foods that boost your dopamine levels. Apples, almonds, bananas, and coffee are 4 of my favorite healthy dopamine-boosters. But what if you can’t or don’t want to change your diet? There’s no point in letting a crush get to you if it’s going to negatively impact your decision-making. Before you fall head-over-heels into your infatuation sensations, follow these 3 steps.
1. Identify your crush.
I know what it’s like to have crushes sneak up on me out of nowhere. Turns out, I’ve had crushes I had no idea existed until later on! The thing is not every crush may feel the same way. While some crushes might give you typical infatuation sensations, others might be more low-key. One crush might simply put you in a good mood while another might make you feel more self-conscious of your appearance. This, of course, isn’t necessarily your crushes fault. I’ve become more self-conscious of my appearance around crushes who never said or did anything to trigger that behavior. It simply helps to know what's triggering your infatuation sensations. A little self-awareness goes a long way!
2. Determine your shade of rose.
On a scale of 1 to rose, how red is your reality looking? Infatuation Goggles can make us see everything from individuals to our whole perspective in a particular shade of red. That makes it harder to see red flags, even if they’re waving right in front of us. Be honest about how rosy your world is looking both in the presence of your crush and when you’re apart. Personally, I love it when the positive effects of Infatuation Goggles blend into other areas of my life.
Warning: Your shade of rose isn’t a set-in-stone thing. You might be rosier one moment than the next. If your current shade of reality is looking like pure rose, don't expect it to last.
3. Be real.
Your brain is the mastermind behind the magic of your crush. Enjoy the positive feelings your infatuation brings. Your crush might never become an actual “thing” and that’s okay. Some crushes are better left not pursued. Most importantly, be real about any red flags that pop up. If you sense something’s amiss, don’t ignore it. Never put your intuition aside when it’s trying to tell you something. There might be no need to be paranoid. But being real about red flags will spare you suffering later down the road. Be honest and take note when you think you see a red flag, no matter how tiny it might seem. You can’t wear Infatuation Goggles forever, so there will come a time when you’ll need to confront your not-so-rosy reality.