"Most of us," says Dr. Money, "fall in love, not with a person, but with a love blot."
He offers, as explanation, this conundrum:
Question: How is a lover like an ink blot (as in the Rorschack ink-blot test)?
Answer: You project your own meaning onto both.
Although it can happen, as the song says, some enchanted evening across a crowded room, the "experience (of falling in love) can also happen to a man or woman without too much feedback from how the partner is reacting."
Money, a professor of medical psychology and associate professor of pediatrics at the Johns Hopkins University Medical School and director of the school's psycho-hormonal research unit, has explored the subjects of love, pair-bonding, love sickness and sick love (quite something else) for 30 years. A book ("Love and Love Sickness: The Science of Sex, Gender Difference and Pair Bonding") on his conclusions and theories is about to be published.
Sometimes, says Money, "It's by the laws of chance, almost miraculously lucky, that it's a complete two-way street. Then it works extraordinarily well and the two people become pair-bonded with epoxy cement, so to speak, and there's very little that would ever separate them.
Of course, he adds, "They pay a terrible price if they're forcibly separated. The grief is just horrendous . . .
"They can grow so closely together in a long lifetime that in old age, the 70s or 80s, if one dies, the other one really doesn't survive more than a year. That's very durable pair-bonding."
Geese pair-bond, notes Dr. Money. So do penguins. They can't break it and "go through a terrible time if one of them is killed . . ."
"Nature," he says, "has used all different plans across the species to get them together in their mating rituals and with the primates she seems to have used a combined system . . . they (old-world primates) are like us. They develop very intense bondedness, but not exclusive.
"One of the advantages of not being permanently pair-bonded," he says, "is you can recover, if separated." "Can't help but remember The love we had so tender A world so safe and sound Oh no no but his kiss Temptation so inviting That feeling so exciting Has turned it upside down" "Love Pains" by Price, Walsh and Barri. (c) 1979, Golden Clover Music and World Song Publishing, Inc.
"We have as human beings developed our own cultural traditions about how you fit pair-bonding into your own life and into the life of society," says Dr. Money, and we give messages to our teen-agers. The common one is the official message of virginity, chastity and monogamy. And then we give a whole plethora of other messages that say, 'Oh, we don't really do what we say, so do what I say, not what I do . . .'"
Still other messasges "we give out to pre-teens and teen-agers is that love conquers all and you must be totally obedient when you have this special personal reaction we call falling in love, and obey it all the way. This turns up very freely in the lyrics of popular songs which are . . . the major source of love education for teen-agers in our society."
"Ooh, you have won, take my heart I think about you night and day . . . And I'm longing for your touch" "Please Don't Leave" by Lauren Wood. (c) 1978 by Creeping, Licking Music
In his work with children who have serious glandular problems, including tumors, and in treating those men with sexual problems commonly dubbed "deviants," Dr. Money has established a research approach he hopes "will give us good leads to a part of the human experience that's been neglected in scientific study."
He believes part of the problem has been the "mid-Victorianism" of anthropoligists as well as doctors and scientists . . .
The same kind of repressiveness, he believes, has made so-called sex education too often no more than an exercise "in reproductive physiology -- eggs, sperm and menstrual periods . . . The official line is (often) that they do not deal with 'erotic aspects' of sexual intercourse. And, of course, that is exactly what teen-agers want some guidance on. And especially, when do you begin? How do you pick the right person? How do you make your peace with morality?" ""I want you tonight I feel like getting crazy Oh I know it's not right But who is gonna save me?" "I want You Tonight" by Lerios, Jenkins and Willis. (c) 1979 by Golden Clover Music and World Song Publishing Inc. All Rights Reserved
Love sickness is real and different from anything else. "The agony is devastating, as most people know and most people know it from some degree of personal experience . . . Love sickness is a quite distinct and discrete condition of human beings. When they have it," Dr. Money says, "then you try to find ways of treating it for what it is and not as if it were something else.
"On the whole," he says, "what impresses me is the resilience of the human organism so that even the most adverse reaction to love sickness (is overcome). It takes usually about two years to come out of it, sometimes sooner. Until we learn something new and effective, probably the best thing is just to be supportive and understanding and let time take care of it.
"Nature does her own healing. And you know you're out of it when you feel the first stirrings of a new attraction." "What can I do with this broken heart And a goodbye that leaves me nowhere What can I do with this broken heart And a love I can't get over" "What Can I Do With This Broken Heart?" by Coley, Seals and Gundry. (c) 1979 by Cold Zinc Music and Silver Nightingale Music
Then, almost as an afterthought Dr. Money adds, "Two years is not just an accident, as I've formulated it. People live on the high peak of a love affair for about two years. And then, in the average person, it becomes a more quiescent affection rather than the turbulent passion of the past two years.
"However, in your love madness you will have been able to get pregnant and deliver the baby . . ."
Another major Money observation involves the repressed attitude in Western society toward sex play among small children. Himself a New Zealander, Dr. Money spent some time with a group of Australian Aborigines on the continent's north coast. "They he pronounces with finality, "grow up with no sexual hang-ups."
Dr. Money is aware of current psychopharmacological research seemingly bent on establishing that it's all in your neurotransmitters, and he sees this space-age love-potion work as solid "science-fiction predictions."
"But in the final analysis," he says "how can we find out what nature had in her plan? All we know is that she did it. We can make up little stories about why she did it and call it evolution, but we really have no way of answering her own ineffable ways . . . The ultimate answer is that we're members of the human species and we've been designed in such a way that these things can happen to us."
. . . Ah, Cupid, Eros, Saint Val . . . Where are you now that we need you?