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Terrains of Meaning at the End of Love

Updated: Feb 20, 2022

The Origin of Behavior

I propose in my theory of biocognitive science that conventional behavior modification models are based on rat psychology. Reward or punishment are the tools applying motivational and reward strategies to increase behavior and deterrence to decrease behavior without much concern for the contextual meaning sustaining the targeted action.

Rats behave without awareness of meaning, whereas humans are entrenched in a fabric seeking to understanding actions. We exist in a terrain of meaning woven by cultural constructs. Human behavior is a complex convergence of thoughts and emotions shaped by what we are taught and by our own experiences. If we conceptualize the brain as generator of thoughts and the heart as the seat of emotions, we can examine how they differ in their construction of meaning. The brain operates within a code of reason sustained by logic, and the heart interprets with an emotional code informed by unconditional love.

If we apply this bimodal coding to relationships we can begin to understand why when a partner brings closure to a union by abandoning, shaming or betraying, the brain understands it’s time to go, but the heart continues to experience the emotional bond from the unconditionality of love. Thus, we can continue to miss someone who has hurt us deeply, despite warnings from our reasoning that we are endorsing unrequited love.

Although thoughts and emotions are contextualized in the brain, when it comes to dissolution of love, lag time is necessary for emotions to catch up with reason. It is imperative however, to understand that time is an affordance rather than a contributor to mourn the end of love. Rather, understanding the brain and heart codes and conversing in their respective language, will determine the duration of suffering from unrequited love.

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