In Love 2.0, psychologist Barbara Fredrickson makes the argument that we should quit thinking of love as a private, self-contained emotion, and recognize it instead as something that happens between people. Duh, you might say, but we do tend to think of love and all other emotions as personal things, contained within the skin of our own being.

Fredrickson suggests that love – which she would like for us to understand as positivity resonance – is a back and forth thing that happens between people whenever there is “a momentary upwelling of three tightly interwoven events: first, a sharing of one or more positive emotions between you and another; second, a synchrony between your and the other person’s biochemistry and behaviors; and third, a reflected motive to invest in each other’s well-being that brings mutual care.”

Let’s see…

1. A sharing of positive emotions between you and another. Like happiness at being outside on a gorgeous Saturday morning, delight in seeing friends, excitement to discover you can do one more push-up than the week before, and at the end of the workout, a deep satisfaction at having survived with all limbs intact.  
2. A synchrony of biochemistry and behaviors. Like the myosin ATPase reaction followed by the creatine kinase and myokinase reactions that happen as you do squats together, and the simultaneous cursing that you and your partner do when you’re bear crawling from here to yonder.
3. A reflected motive to invest in each other’s well-being. Like encouraging your partner to please please please hurry the hell up with their wall jumps so you can drop from your plank.

Well look at that. All this time we thought we were working out at queerfit, when really we’ve been creating micro-moments of love! This theory of love is nice and aligned with our philosophy that group work outs requiring cooperative effort is the way to go for increasing happiness, building up our innate mutualism, and surviving a zombie apocalypse.

Fredrickson’s theory of love runs counter in other ways to the dominant, Elizabethan notions of romantic love. Her research shows that positivity resonance is not exclusive to one other person. In fact, micro-moments of love are “far more ubiquitous than you ever thought possible,” but they require “true sensory and temporal connection with another temporal living being.” Meaning, you have to get it live and in person. Love is also, alas, not long-lasting and not unconditional. It’s something you have to keep on creating, through willful acts of connection with other people. Meaning, make a regular practice out of it.

Well, that’s us. Come get your positivity resonance on by joining us tomorrow morning and every Saturday morning at 10:00 in the usual spot.  See you tomorrow!