The Intoxication of Mattering

When it all comes down to it, the purpose of life is this: we want to matter. We have it ingrained in our DNA, body, and neurobiology to want to belong. We need relationships to survive. We need to be part of something with meaning. 

Though connection is crucial across all types of relationships, nowhere is it more addictive than in romantic relationships. The prime essence of mattering, romance brings the intoxication fully. 

When we feel attracted and attached to a person, the overflow of dopamine and endorphins is so unusual and unexpected that the amount can seem poisonous. In our intoxication, we become "addicted" to the release of dopamine and feeling good. We translate that to being "addicted" to the person. From them we seek more attention because it means we get more dopamine and it makes us feel as though we matter. We need to matter. We get intoxicated quickly by mattering. 

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The overflow of dopamine is compared to having a manic stage. Terms that we use are "falling head-over-heels" or "walking on air." It's a loss of reality as we know it. Reason and logical analysis in the left brain goes dormant. We seek to do anything necessary to feel good again. We will cut off other needs in our effort to seek another shot of attention, affection, or touch. We will stop eating, barely work, and find solace in insomnia.

We have energy to speak to one another for hours at a time, aided by the adrenaline that has been released into our system. We find the courage to cancel plans in an effort to be together. We will seek out any kind of contact like the written form, whether it  be electronically by email, text or chat, or by the old-school love note.

Being a priority in another's life signifies that they too get pleasure from you. That they are experiencing the shot of dopamine and attraction. In its vicious cycle, their desire for you and the pleasure they receive makes you happy. To be wanted, to give meaning to somebody else. That is the positive reinforcement for the intoxication of mattering. 

This will only be for a temporary period of time. Increase your awareness of it. Know that you are in it. Enjoy the rush, the energy, and the loss of reason. It will subside, as it should, and you will still matter. The intoxication will subside to something more sober, more real, and more stable. The mattering and meaning of it does not go away. In this way, the connection and the soft release of dopamine creates equanimity of healthy attachment. In this way, you have the intoxication of love and connection. Being a priority remains, the mattering remains.