That Think You Do
















What Kind of Lover Are You (And Can You Improve)?

Regular readers of this blog may remember my last, long ago post, How Do You Define “Love”?. Close to the end of that post I promised the next post — that would be this one — would be about the NextStage LoveJones Tool.

That name, LoveJones, comes from a friend. We are forever in her debt. She is assured someone she knows will claim “NextStage LoveJones proves what I’ve been telling my wife for years!” We’ve already heard much the same from a user in Texas.

Anyway…

So how does one determine if you, right at this moment sitting there at your computer or reading this off your mobile, perhaps while you’re commuting via train, subway, bus or taxi, maybe in a plane waiting for it to take-off or even if you’re in-flight and you’re reading this stored on your tablet, are a good lover?

Turns out it’s pretty easy once you understand what’s involved, and what’s involved in a love based relationship was described (for our purposes) in How Do You Define “Love”?.

Defining Love

To recap, it’s much more than physical (something most people immediately think of and rarely admit that it’s the first thing they think of). There’s the attention before and after, the emotional energy that is subtly based on physicality and is often spawned by a simple touch, look or smile, the psychological energy that comes from familial, social, cultural and tribal alliances and the spiritual energy that comes from all of these things blending together. As one early reader of this post offered, “Love is doing things together and allowing things to be done separately.”

I wrote that love in any form starts in the head before it’s demonstrated by the heart, the hands, the words, et cetera, in How Do You Define “Love”?. This “head before heart, et cetera” is true for all of the higher emotions.

What are ‘higher emotions’?

Higher emotions are more easily described by starting at the bottom — or at least lower end — of the emotional spectrum.

Lower (or “Primitive”) emotions tend to work along survival axes. Probably the best known of these axes is Flight or Fight and all of these axes deal with the sympathetic versus parasympathetic nervous systems.

Lower emotions are housed in our primitive (what some call “reptilian”) brain regions and if you’ve ever jumped at a loud noise or felt your heart pound after a boom of thunder or leapt out of the way when you’ve seen a teenager driving a car, you’ve experienced a primal response and have your lower emotions to thank. Animals demonstrate lower emotions all the time. We may want to believe our pets love us and the behavioral ethology of it is that they recognize us as part of their pack, their pride, their flock, their mate, whatever, and even when we’re the alphas in the pride, pack or flock their behavior towards us has more to do with group harmony than individual affection.

The higher emotions are a bit more complex and involved, and the obvious axes get a little convoluted. For example, ask most people what the opposite of Love is and they’ll answer Hate and that’s not accurate. Both Love and Hate are strong emotions and are usually directed at something. The opposite of a strong emotion is neutrality, indifference, a lack of concern, interest or caring, so the opposite of both love and hate is apathy.

But the interesting thing about lower and higher emotions is that the latter are built on the former. That’s how our brains evolved, both figuratively and literally, both in our own lives from children to adults and as a species from pampas to homeowner.

Love, it turns out, is an excellent example of that evolvement from lower/primitive to higher as indicated in How Do You Define “Love”?

How Love Evolved

What we now recognize as “love” started out as quite primitive, quite low, and through eons of evolution that low, primitive emotion has become what we now call Eros or erotic love. Yes, that heart thumping, gland morphing, secondary sexual attribute defining I-gotta-get-me-some sweat-involving thang is the latest incarnation of one of biology’s greatest triumphs, survival of the species.

Survival of the species is so important to us that evolution rewards erotic love with intense pleasure (for most of us. One of my favorite quotes is “Sex, done right, is very, very good. And even when done poorly it can still be very, very good”).

That survival-of-the-species love took a step up the evolutionary ladder due to our ancestors developing social brains. That step up the ladder is Philios. We still want to insure survival of our species, we’re simply diversifying our investment. The lion’s share still goes to our own progeny and thanks to Philios we’ll now give some of our share to those in our group, tribe, society, culture, nation, race, … Philios or “Brotherly Love” is why we’ll stick up for us and go to war against them. We, as a group, tribe, society, et cetera, survive thanks to philios.

The next step up the evolutionary ladder was literally a step upward and is Agape love, the love we feel for nation, for diety, for those things recognizably larger than ourselves.

Once our social brain caused us to seek out others of our kind, the next step was to recognize the strongest unifying form of Philios was philios for a specific One rather than philios for each other. This enabled us to become further philiatic by deciding our One was better than their One. Philios becoming Agape results in the most horrible wars because the bloodiest, most devastating, genocidal crimes and conflicts are religious and/or belief-based in nature.

Love Fascinates Me

“Love” has fascinated me since I was a child, literally. I asked my grandparents why they loved each other, I asked my parents what love was and how did they know they were in love. I asked my cousin the night before his wedding how he knew this she was the right she and have asked friends how they met, fell in love and what keeps them in love.

So NextStage, thanks to my early interest in such matters, has more than forty years’ research conducted all over the world, in societies primitive and modern and all those in between, regarding love.

We compared the results of that research to what our technology had determined previously (see How Do You Define “Love”?) and made adjustments to the definitions as necessary.

And thanks to some breakthroughs made over the past two years, we created a tool to determine how good a lover (more generically, a “partner”) someone was likely to be. All we had to do was trigger a signal along the aforementioned emotional evolutionary trail and follow where it led.

Then we tested. That was the fun part.

We had to test with people who could be objective about themselves, people who didn’t let their desires, their egos, their own wants and needs, their self-concepts, … get in the way of considering if the results were valid.

Or if the results indicated ways they could improve.

The Most Important Sex Organ

Regina Brett said “The most important sex organ is the brain.” That statement is a specific example of the much broader statement “What happens in the brain is echoed in the body and what happens in the body is echoed in the brain.” That evolutionary trail that goes from body to brain is where all the different nervous systems (there’s quite a few, really) get involved and climbing up and down the emotional evolutionary ladder becomes obvious.

Let me give you an example of something happening in the brain and being echoed in the body. Imagine you’re sitting comfortably in your home watching a documentary on warcrimes and see something extremely disturbing. You may look away and some people might change the channel. But what is “disturbing” is learned from our culture of origin. What’s disturbing to a native New Englander might be completely ignored by a Sudanese and vice versa. Thus the turning away or changing channels — the physical demonstration — occurs because the brain/mind have made a decision about how to respond.


Now let’s consider something happening in the body and being echoed in the mind. Have you ever had a bad cold? You’ve got the shivers and shakes, you’re coughing and sneezing, and it’s difficult to concentrate on anything more involved than game shows and soap operas. The stresses on the body affect the brain/mind’s ability to function optimally and we want nothing more than to sit under a blanket in front of a blazing fire.

Thus what happens in the body is echoed in the brain, what happens in the brain is echoed in the body. People observe these little echoes all the time and respond to them accordingly. It’s how we know someone is depressed just by looking at them, that someone else is having a good or bad day, that someone’s probably lying to us while someone else is telling us the truth and so on. Usually we don’t directly comment on these observations. By adulthood most people have experienced enough social interactions to observe and respond to these little echoes nonconsciously. Adults essentially forget about these echoes and simply act upon them.

Ah, But We Are NextStage…

…and we take great advantage of such things, especially the non-conscious things, the little things people do that they’re unaware they’re doing. NextStage observes these behaviors consciously and with intention (just so you’ll know, we’re doing it now) and has developed a patented technology to observe and report on them.

So don’t be surprised when I share that we — or at least our technology. We call it Evolution Technology, or ET — has been observing you while you’ve been reading this post.

Breadcrumbs

Let me give you an example of what’s been going on starting with this post’s title, “What Kind of Lover Are You?”

The human psyche (under normal circumstances) will answer a question when asked one. There may be no verbal response and there will be a response, one perhaps spoken only to one’s self in one’s mind.

Asking such a question is an example of priming. The response to the question is actually demonstrated in the body and ET detects that response.

This post has posed several questions. The core question, “How do you define ‘love’?”, is asked six times before this line you’re currently reading. The rest of the questions are embedded in text that will cause specific brain areas — memory, cognitive brain regions, emotional brain regions, visual centers, … the list is pretty long. We designed this material to hit a lot of things — to fire at different times.

Each firing causes subtle, not easily recognizable yet easily recordable changes in the body and because your body is attached — you’re using a mouse, a keyboard, a touchscreen, some kind of pointing device, correct? — to whatever device you’re using to read this material (and if you’re connected to the internet) you’re telling us what love means to you and how you respond to love emotionally, spiritually, psychologically and (to some extent) physically.

Sooo…want to know what kind of lover/partner you are? Perhaps even get a few suggestions how to demonstrate that love/partnership more effectively? Without getting out of your chair or anything like that? Click on the image below and find out.

 

And remember, by clicking on that link you recognize that the NextStage LoveJones is for entertainment purposes only. Ask your partner how accurate the results are if you don’t like them (and provided you trust your partner to tell you the truth), or come back in a few hours and give it another go. There’s every chance the change in your emotional energy will bring about a different result.

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