The science behind love is complex and yet to discover more, however, specific chemical substances such as oxytocin, phenethylamine, and dopamine, have been found to play a role in human experiences and behaviors that are associated with love. They function similarly to amphetamine, making us alert, excited, and wanting to bond.
What is love?
The definition of love is too complex to explore in this short article. What I can say is that love is a warm feeling of strong affection and is tied to human attachment hormones, oxytocin, serotonin, and dopamine. This feeling of affection can lead to bonding, trust, cooperation, care, and protection, and I feel that these factors are, in part, why we relate to our partners. These are human needs, and studies show that you can experience these feelings in just a couple of minutes of looking at a picture of your partner.
So if love is complex, why can’t you avoid the feelings of attachment?
Just because the sensation of love is great doesn’t mean that it’s easy to explain and understand. There are a lot of emotional variables that go into the equation. The sensation of falling in love can be described as an overwhelming experience where one individual feels a strong emotional attachment and desire for closeness with another individual, similar to the feeling one feels when falling in love with someone. This type of emotional attachment can take many forms, such as a close friendship, a romantic relationship, a family connection, or even a religious connection. One component that differentiates love from any other type of attachment is the type of experience it provides.
Love feels very real and visceral. A lot of emotion is involved with the experience, which makes it one of the most fulfilling feelings that people can have in their lives. A love that doesn’t feel very real or visceral could be described as infatuation or lust.
Over the years, studies have shown that romantic love is one of the most complicated emotions humans are capable of feeling. Psychologists have proposed many theories as to what love actually is, and scientists have revealed that this nebulous and elusive emotion is actually a mix of chemical and physiological processes that go hand in hand with one another. Love has three components to it: Attraction, Concern, and Commitment:
Attraction: The “I want to know you” stage
Concern: The “I need to protect” stage
Commitment: The “I want to make this work for a lifetime” stage
In other words, in order to have and keep a romantic relationship, the relationship needs to be healthy and happy. Love involves a lot of patience and a healthy psychological or mental state.
What is the science behind love?
The science behind love is not easy to explain so far it is obvious that dopamine, norepinephrine, and other related hormones play a vital role to stimulate the brain’s pleasure centers. When these chemicals (taken together) are bound together, it creates a type of brain-high or hallucinatory experience that can lead to bonding and eroticism. When it gets to the emotional peak, the oxytocin is released causing more bonding and euphoria, which makes it easier to connect and maintain the bond. We don’t have to connect with everyone we meet and we can bond with those whom we love.
It’s a super feeling when you meet someone and you can feel he or she is special. This state makes you feel connected and safe, and feelings can last several days up to several weeks. These are pretty intense feelings and are usually not felt with every single relationship or a first encounter. The oxytocin system (OCX) is one of the few biological systems that can produce a state of amnesia, which has many different functions within the body. Oxytocin is important because the way it works is by increasing oxytocin receptors in your brain. When you take oxytocin, your brain essentially forgets a lot of your experiences and can focus on the world around you. It also increases dopamine, which is the ‘feel-good chemical in the brain. So when you receive oxytocin, you get this feeling of dopamine levels spiking in your brain, which makes you want to care about your partner or bond with them. Because of oxytocin’s ability to bond you to other people, to contribute to your brain chemistry, the chemical helps strengthen your relationship. Another ingredient of love is dopamine, a neurotransmitter that helps keep you motivated and engaged. This can be seen in the dopamine rise during a powerful experience such as the first time you smoke weed, or when a relationship starts, or even when you start dating someone you like.
Another key component is phenethylamine, a hormone that plays a part in sexual arousal and blood flow to the brain. Phenethylamine is the chemical that affects testosterone levels and the production of dopamine in the brain.
A vast body of evidence shows that love is a natural response to the stimuli and interactions that surround us. A significant majority of psychological research and medical research agrees that love is a chemical reaction that our brains produce when we experience positive emotions and positive interactions with others. These feelings of love, which can be an internal response or a combination of feelings and sensations, arise when we learn about the strengths and positives of other people, and also when we spend time with them and share experiences with them.
Related : The 5 Love Languages: How To Use Them
What does science say about relationships?
When we say “romance is dead,” we’re referring to the transformation of courtship, dating, and intimate relationships to transactional engagements – meaning that the love we once felt for someone was being replaced by lust, worry, obligation, or any other number of emotions that causes us to seek external validation. For women, this can create a cycle that can eventually produce depression, anxiety, low self-esteem, and feelings of inadequacy.
Unfortunately, it’s often the case that sexual attractiveness does play a role in the first few months of a relationship, but after a certain period, humans adapt to physical appearance.
Psychologists call this “reciprocity reversal” or “asymmetric discounting.” We see ourselves as more desirable at the beginning of a relationship and then, after
“A number of factors affect your ability to fall in love,” said Dr Needle. “Some people are born with a higher level of the chemical serotonin, making them more susceptible to falling in love with others. Depression, anxiety, and certain medications can decrease your chances of falling in love. Because our biology is different for each of us, there is no one set of rules that describes how love will or won’t happen for each person.”
You can determine your own personal preferences and goals for love, which will help you to make the decision to either pursue someone or not. “When you’re clear on what you want, you can establish which type of love you are looking for — romantic love, platonic love, or both — and achieve it.”
Also, remember that you’re in control. According to sex researcher and marriage therapist John Gottman, the quality of a relationship can best be described as a set of self-reinforcing cycles. Essentially, two people are attracted to each other at the onset of the relationship and remain attracted throughout, forming an attachment to each other that helps the relationship.
According to Gottman, the larger the commitment and the more time that passes, the more problems start to crop up. Basically, the more the relationship changes and is exposed to the unpredictability of the real world, the more it starts to crumble.
The Cycle of Commitment and Oxytocin
Love, commitment and novelty are all most likely to bring the two partners closer together. The initial stages of a relationship last an average of one year, according to research. It seems like only yesterday that you probably met your soulmate, but dating back thousands of years, humans have engaged in various forms of courtship rituals to attract a mate. In her study titled “Evolutionary Psychology and the Neurosciences,” Emily Abramsky, an assistant professor of biology and psychology at Purdue University, notes that our current, highly curated dating experiences, specifically our use of online dating apps, developed relatively recently. Dating apps have been around for almost 20 years.
According to dating app expert and COO of Zoosk, Steckelberg, these apps also present a problem when it comes to creating long-lasting relationships.“Dating apps made it easy for people to quickly connect to others but at the same time creating a greater potential for singles.
Love is abstract, which is why we may use it interchangeably with infatuation, passion, or a strong affinity for someone. It’s also a state of mind. Unlike infatuation, love doesn’t solely reside in your head. It is often felt physically. In fact, love is not just a “feeling” but a social phenomenon that is defined by many factors such as emotion, actions, thoughts, communication, and physical contact.
In essence, we feel an emotional sense of belonging and want to bond with others because it provides a sense of comfort and a sense of belonging in an otherwise confusing and unpredictable world. Love-induced dopamine surges are similar to the reward found in gambling. We also know oxytocin is found in our breasts, the endocannabinoid system, the placenta, and the fetus within the mother. In the late ’90s and early 2000s, oxytocin was the subject of a debate in the scientific community, including many scientists not affiliated with the study of oxytocin, who did not accept its existence or significance. Their argument was that oxytocin was merely a false positive in studies.
However, studies involving humans and animals eventually proved the existence of oxytocin and its potential for psychological and social interactions. Evidence and research since The chemicals that comprise the emotional brain (as opposed to the rational, mathematical brain) also form a matrix with each other, meaning that oxytocin works with dopamine to form specific neural circuits.
In order to enjoy being in love, it’s important to be present in the moment, not only with your partner but with others. Your relationships with others should be built around respect, loyalty, honesty, and unconditional love.
With so many people involved in love, one-sided, repetitive, damaging, toxic relationships, it’s helpful to know how to make your love work in healthy ways. Just like dating, once we’re in a relationship, it’s crucial to avoid adding toxic influences to your love life. It’s never too late to mend broken relationships. Breakups are a part of life, and sometimes we just need to let go and move on. As soon as we do so, we are free to experience the joys
The science behind love is extremely complex and it is always possible to come up with an infinite number of definitions, contributing factors and topics. The whole topic has always fascinated and challenged me. I have recently been studying human relationship psychology in-depth and hope to shed some light on the subject in this blog.