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You meet, lock eyes and suddenly all you can think about is getting closer to him. You find that you cannot think of anything but his eyes, the way he looks at you, the way he smells. You think that you have found your perfect match-clearly this must be fate if you feel so…compelled!
What many are unaware of is the biochemical process that causes this sorcery- romantic love. Our brains on love are quite the interesting subject to study and that is just what Helen Fisher, the leading authority on romantic love, and her team did when they took 32 people who were madly in love and placed them into an FMRI machine designed to show what parts of the brain were stimulated when they were asked questions, shown photos and otherwise asked to draw forth the thoughts and memories associated with their beloved. 16 of these people were madly in love and it was reciprocated and the other 15 were madly in love and were recently rejected/dumped.
What was found was quite stunning.
In all cases levels of dopamine, norepinephrine and serotonin were exponentially raised. In particular dopamine is where the majority of our drive to love stems from. Raised levels of dopamine causes extreme focused attention, unwavering motivation and goal directed behaviors-all of which are associated with romantic love.
When we first meet someone we can think only of them (extreme focused attention). We will be in class or at work and we suddenly cannot stop thinking about our beloved. When we begin to date them we will do anything, stay up for hours talking even when we have to get up in the morning for work, we will even put up with behaviors that we may not necessarily find desirable in our pursuit of keeping this persons attention. Furthermore dopamine is associated with novel stimuli. When we first fall in love we can list one-by-one our beloveds’ faults and toss them to the side and focus in only on what we want. Some of us feel even stronger for our beloved because of these faults.
Thus we make this person novel in our eyes.
Despite many experts claims to the contrary, men and women love virtually the same. HOW they fall in love tends to differ as men are attracted firstly through the visual cortex where as women are more inclined towards intelligence/romantic gestures etc. More importantly, however, what was found is that romantic love is not so much a series of emotions but rather a drive. Just like when you reach for that chocolate or feel the pangs of thirst, when we are in love there is a sense that we cannot, will not, live without our beloved. Unlike the emotion of anger or hurt that can be directed at a person, released or otherwise tempered when we are thirsty NOTHING will quench our thirst until we feel that liquid slide past our lips.
So too is our drive for love. When we feel our relationship is in trouble our dopamine receptors go to town creating highly elevated levels of dopamine as we set about accomplishing the goal of getting our lovers attention (goal driven behavior). We need to be reassured that they love us, that our relationship is safe! Even if another person came up to us and proclaimed their undying love for us it would simply not to do lest it was our beloved. In short our thirst would not be quenched until we knew that our lover still cared and the relationship was safe and we had that specific “special person’s” attention.
Why does this matter? When we begin to understand the biology and psychology behind romantic love we can understand better what is happening within us when we fall in romantic love. We can begin to understand that when that relationship ends our craving for that person is not a sign that life is in fact over or that we will never love again; it’s a sign that our bodies addiction to the elevated levels of dopamine and serotonin (our happy hormone’s which provide us with a feeling of euphoria) which was mass produced on account of their association with romantic love. Those neuro-pathways were not just used; they were increased and flooded with hormones that our brains still crave even when that lover is gone.
We can begin to demystify romantic love and the process that we go through and understand out behavior. We can curb certain tendencies which would otherwise drive away our beloved and also begin to get more in tune with how to use what we know to further enrapture our lovers and keep them not just interested but burning with desire.
Even though our drive for romantic love is centered quite specifically in the primal brain we needn’t behave in an animalistic fashion which precludes love from being an understood process that we go through and instead turns it into a frantic act of climbing curtains. We can begin, preferably, to understand what makes our beloved tick-why we feel the way that we do and how we can best use this information for our and our relationships benefit.
Are you confused by love? Have you been left wanting and are not sure how to process the emotions that are flooding your being? Come in for a Psychic reading and life coaching session. A beautiful marriage of two unique skills that provide you not just with insight into what is ahead and what feelings are attached to the situation around you but also what you can do to turn your negative outcome into a positive opportunity!