Lust Telepathy: An Unexplored Psychological Phenomenon (Poll)

06/02/2008 05:12 am ET | Updated Nov 17, 2011
  • Dr. Belisa Vranich Clinical Psychologist; Author, 'Breathe: 14 days to Oxygenating, Recharging, and Fueling Your Body & Brain'; Advisory Board Member, The Hope & Grace Initiative

During the first rip-your-clothes-off phase of love, psychologist and author Dr. Helen Fisher describes lust as equal to drug addiction--specifically an addiction to amphetamines, as shown by actual brain scans. Hopeless romantics like me are both intrigued and saddened to learn that the crazy-in-love phase could be pinpointed in the brain as equaling something as plebeian as snorting a bag of cocaine. Classic psychology explains that the "merging" feeling--the well-sung "losing yourself in another" moment--is something that resembles the feeling infants have of being connected to their mothers, their gaze ("mirroring") being an intrinsic part of the development of the self.

A topic that has not been discussed is the hyper-attunement between couples that leads them to feel almost telepathically connected. When it's one-sided, it's similar to referential thinking, and can seem psychotic ("That song was telling me to call you"). When it's mutual, it creates a bond between two people who believe that there is something truly magical, even fated, about their meeting.

This feeling of being so intensely connected that you know what the other is thinking (or thinking of them at the exact moment they were thinking of you) is what I refer to as "telepathic lust." It primes the couple for the next phase of love when hormones quell and sanity returns. However, the "uncanny" similarities remain as stories that keep the couple attached. This "we were meant to be" feeling can help them get through the arguments about daily life that are inevitable--or, in the case of "love addicts" (who only remain for the initial "high" time), it adds to disillusionment since the significant other is supposed to be able to continue "reading" her or his mind.

A similarly magical experience for new lovers is the "You aren't going to believe this! Remember how we were talking about pugs? I just saw one!" freaky coincidences phenomenon (don't bother looking this up in the psychiatric literature, nothing has been written about it yet). The 1984 movie "Repo Man" talks about this phenomenon in a less intellectual way--a "lattice of coincidence." That is to say, once you think about something, you will see it appear repeatedly around you. Psychologists will tell you that it is not a case of precognition; you are simply more attuned to "finding" it than before; it is not that these apparently meaningful and predictable events or thoughts are somehow flocking to you in an attempt to tell you a lottery number or save you from some fate. (You might keep in mind what Carl Sagan said: "Extraordinary claims require extraordinary evidence" before you open your mouth again about those freaky coincidences.)

That being said, the idea in physics of "interaction at a distance" is not new (Einstein wrote about it and it's dealt with in theory of "quantum teleportation" for those of you who love science). There are numerous anecdotal accounts of lovers, mother-child couples, twins, or even military buddies being attuned to each other across large distances. Useful for our survival? Yes. Magical? The jury is still out.

So now I'm curious about your experience with this phenomenon. Take this poll below on what I call LDFCs (Lust-Driven Freaky Coincidences).

If you have anything else to add, please do so below in comments.