The three types of love.

by mssinglemama on April 16, 2012

This is a must watch.

Helen Fisher’s TED talk will enlighten you on a few things including why we can feel love for two men at once. And, you must stick around until the end for her opinion on anti-depressants.

I really, really, really want to hear your opinion on this. Please leave them in the comments.

{ 24 comments… read them below or add one }

Andrea April 16, 2012 at 10:21 pm

Loved the talk! And completely agree with all of it. Even the part where someone can love two people in different ways at the same time. That was exactly what my ex-husband chose to do. (I noticed her use of the word “choice”). He chose to allow himself to get to a point where he had romantic love towards another woman, at the same time as he felt the deep attachment love to me. He lived a double life for 2 years as a result, lying to both of us in the end. I believe ultimately you need that deep attachment love with someone to have it last, but you can do things to keep the romantic love and lust around – or reinvigorate it.

I liked her optimistic thoughts on the future of relationships as a whole too!


Ms. Design Mama April 16, 2012 at 11:01 pm

Helen Fisher is so enlightening and matter of fact. I have such an interest for all things anthropology. That was an excellent speech! I agree with everything she says, especially about anti-depressants. I wish more people were told those things before they choose to use them or that they came with a warning label of sorts.

I am a single mama – was separated in 2007 and divorced legally early 2009. No drama there, but I stayed way too long in a relationship with a narcissist after that (for 2 1/2 years) that left me turned off to wanting to deal with the effort a relationship takes anymore. Haven’t found anyone worth the effort yet at least – trying to stay optimistic though it’s not easy!


mssinglemama April 17, 2012 at 9:03 am

They SHOULD have warning labels. I couldn’t believe her stat of 100 million prescriptions a year in the U.S. That’s just unbelievable to me.


Chris R April 16, 2012 at 11:49 pm

Very good post. As a single Dad I hope my view different yet still looked at… I think the famous line “Love is Blind” is so true. I think when you are in love yes you have the craving. Being over 2 years past my divorce and fully over my Ex. I still think why. But when she talked about how often you think about this person I would say I don’t anymore. But I believe that yes if you are willing to die for someone you are in true love. To give up your life is the ultimate sacrifice.

I think there are many kinds of love, love of friends and family or a deep love like a mate and even a love for an Ex if you share a child. I think things like life, children and other things like memories don’t just tie us but some kind of love is there…

Trying to move on in my life has been difficult and up until about 6 months ago I didn’t think I would or could love again. There are times I still think being a single dad can be the easy way out… But then again sometimes the easy way out is not the best one. Love is hard, life is hard but who wants to take the easy way our right. But why we fall in love with someone is yes a mystery but she had some great ideas and points…

The best thing about love is it is one of the biggest mystery’s out there still… What ever the case always take your time when it comes to love for it can make you feel wonderful yet it can still cause pain all at the same time…

I like how she said there is magic to love and the three drives she points at the end are wonderful… Very good post…


mssinglemama April 17, 2012 at 9:06 am

Thanks for chiming in Chris, love the male perspective you offer. Seth and I have had quite a few conversations about this talk. I love it for so many reasons… the three types of love (we are fortunate to have all three for each other), but it has enlightened us on past relationships and decisions we’ve made in the past or that our exes have made.


Chris R April 17, 2012 at 11:04 pm

Your welcome πŸ™‚ and thank you for always letting me post. I really enjoy your blog and hope as a single dad I’m welcome to come and talk. πŸ™‚
Thank you Ms. Single Mama!


Sam April 17, 2012 at 12:07 am

Wow, I just ran across an article that parallels this TED talk today –

How interesting to hear the science and chemicals behind it all!


mssinglemama April 17, 2012 at 9:04 am

Sam, thank you so much for sharing this with us.


Erin Marie April 17, 2012 at 7:33 am

I found this so illuminating that I had to listen to it twice to soak it all in. Love, Lust, and Commitment is something that we as women focus so much of our thoughts and attention on. She is completely accurate when she says that the greatest of all forces is Love.

Personally, I found her part regarding anti-depressants particularly interesting. Before my ex and I split, we were attempting to get a correct diagnosis for his mental instabilities. Initially, the doctors put him on anti-depressants. This change could help account for his last affair, although not completely as he became emotionally attached to her over me. It is something interesting to consider nonetheless.

Thanks for sharing!


mssinglemama April 17, 2012 at 9:01 am

So glad you found it as awesome as I did.


Me April 17, 2012 at 10:15 am

I loved the anti-depressant part so much that I wrote it down. I’ve copied it below if any folks want to share it with their freinds/fam. etc. It encapusaltes my feelings for refusing to let my son’s school talk me into medicating him. No matter how forgetful he may be, or what executive function crap they throw at me. I think his mind is a beautiful one, and I’m not messing with it.

“Over 100 Mill prescriptions of antidepressants are written every year in the US. And these drugs are going generic and they are seeping throughout the world. I know a girl that has
been on these antidepressants since she was 13. She’s 23. I have nothing against people taking these short term, when they are going through something terrible and they want to commit suicide. I would recommend it. But more and more people are taking them long term.

Indeed what these drugs do is raise the level of serotonin. And when you raise the level of serotonin you suppress the dopamine circuit. Everybody knows that, Dopamine is associated with romantic love. Not only do they suppress the dopamine circuit. But they kill the sex drive. When you kill the sex drive you kill orgasm. When you kill orgasm, you kill that flood of drugs associated with attachment. The things are connected in the brain. When you tamper with one system. You tamper with another. I simply say that a world without love is a deadly place.”


Gwen April 17, 2012 at 3:02 pm

Antidepressants, like any medication, certainly do come with labels, at least if you’re getting them prescribed in the United States. They come with not only warning stickers on the side about drowsiness or other possible side effects, but at most large pharmacies, several long stapled together papers detailing the drug’s chemical makeup, side effects, and so on.


B April 17, 2012 at 4:31 pm

This was exactly what i needed to hear. Thank you so much!


Ann TE April 17, 2012 at 6:39 pm

I have been reading you blog for about 4 months know. I have been a single mother for about 2 years now and your blog has really helped me. This video was perfect timing. I went to the doc today to ask about anti-dipresents, and im glad i saw this before i made a decision. The doc never told me any of that.
In the past month I have also been seeing to men and im not really sure what I want to do. This video helped me lose some guilt about it, but I know im going to have to decided what i really want in a man sooner or later.


Newly Single April 17, 2012 at 8:40 pm

What a great lecture! I love the points about the three types of love and the very clear explanations of how they connect to systems in our brain. I agree antidepressants are overprescribed and for overly long periods of time, but my experience with antidepressants did not affect my sexual love/sex drive.
I went on a low dosage antidepressant after I found out my ex was cheating on me while I was pregnant with our daughter; our marriage counselor was worried about the possibility of post-partum depression and I’m happy I went on them. We “worked” on our marriage and had plenty of sex for the next year. What eventually killed my sex drive with him was the continued lying and cheating.


Ms AnonyMommy April 17, 2012 at 10:49 pm

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Send your contact info, and you wish or prayer might be answered by one of our generous donors. πŸ™‚

God Bless!


Farrell April 19, 2012 at 9:26 am

Well I’ve been on antidepressants for 11 years now and they work for me. I am on my third kind. Some of them DO kill sex drive, some of them don’t; side effects differ depending on the drug and the person; you really can’t make a blanket statement like that. I think it’s a far stretch to say antidepressants inhibit people from making attachments.

Also, we already know that falling in love simulates chemicals in the brain that give you a “high.” I’m not really sure what her point was with making the statement that you can feel deep attachment to one person while simultaneously feeling lust for another – I guess that’s why so many people cheat.


Sara April 19, 2012 at 12:54 pm

Farrell – you said just what I was going to. Not all of them kill your sex drive and it’s a massive stretch for anyone to say that it inhibits people from making attachments. I can tell you as a daily low dose taker of them, I’m far more apt to make an attachment in my ‘content’ state as to my anxious, nervous, miserable state.

I have to go back and watch the whole thing – I just watched the antidepressant part but I think her statements were a bit dangerous.


Jean April 19, 2012 at 5:09 pm

This really bothered me. Certainly, Ms. Fisher is entitled to her opinion, but I think it is a dangerous opinion, and for what it’s worth, my opinion is it’s total crap.

Depression is an illness. There are chemical differences in my brain when you compare it to someone without depression. Most antidepressants help to correct this imbalance, and for many, many people allow the person to live a more normal life with better attachments to their significant other, child, etc.

I used to be very critical of those with depression. I truly believed someone could just snap out of it. I will tell you with 100% certainty, some cannot. What a relief it was to find a treatment (for me, Celexa) that stopped the black hopeless feelings, the lack of interest in anything I once enjoyed. For a while, I did feel less interest in sex, but that was temporary. One misconception many have of antidepressants is that it is a happy pill. It really is not. I feel happy sometimes, I feel sad sometimes. It helped take away the unrelenting hopelessness and gut wrenching sadness.

There is still a stigma associated with mental illness and the treatments for it. These videos (and the people who repost them) are continuing that stigma. Now, the next time a friend of one of your readers mentions that they have started taking antidepressants, the reader may launch into the opinion of Helen Fisher and don’t you want to have attachments with those you love?

As a nurse, I have seem many tragedies from people with mental illness who stopped taking their meds. There are 36,000 suicides in the US every year. 25% of the homeless have severe mental illness. These people need support and encouragement, not people who have not struggled with the problem themselves spouting off their opinions (Tom Cruise comes to mind).


Farrell April 20, 2012 at 10:55 am

Jean: Well said.


Amy April 21, 2012 at 1:02 pm

Best 24 minutes I have spent in a long time. Big fan of Helen Fisher now. She has a great message and has great research to back up her findings. Her and Gloria Steinem are going to help women take over the world – or at least be an equal part in it.


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susan April 23, 2012 at 6:02 am

I was so impressed I’ve added a link to my own blog.
I love her style!
Anti-depressants – the new drug of choice for the middle classes – and what a sad state of affairs that is:(

Love the differentiation between love and lust, and yes I think it’s possible to have ”feelings” for more than one person for sure – the trick is working out which feelings are which, and where to put your energy.


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