At first glance, I really liked this post about the Zen of attraction. As I read the ten principles to the Zen of attraction, I thought, “Wow! This would be a great way to decrease drama in my life! If I could only do this, then my relationships would be so much easier!”
I still think it bears reading and a good “hmmmm.” But as I thought about it, especially in consideration of Helen Fisher’s Why We Love, which explains the chemistry actually going on in your brain when you are attracted to someone, I don’t think that a Zen approach to NRE (New Relationship Energy, for those not lucky enough to have experienced it recently) is all that realistic. Thing is, when we are experiencing attraction, our brain chemistry is different. New lovers experience high levels of chemicals that allow them to do things like stay up all night, pass sleepless nights thinking of one another and talk incessantly. I’m not saying that that type of chemistry can’t be fought or controlled, but my question is: is it very Zen to do so? We only get NRE for a short while, and then our brain stabilizes (thank goodness; how many nights can you really stay awake mooning over a new lover?) and returns to a more sustainable level of intimacy. Being Zen about a new attraction–promising, offering, needing nothing–doesn’t really seem to respect the chemistry of the brain.
Now, I’m not saying that we should just all go hog-wild and give in to the glorious thrill that is NRE. I’ve seen many a relationship destroyed by a partner who got too embroiled in NRE and neglected his other partners or her other obligations in life. And I actually think it’s a good idea not to make promises or raise expectations too high and just accept and enjoy the moment, whatever that may be. Perhaps I’m suggesting a balance between complete Zen calm and the silly unreasonableness of NRE. What do you think?