Love, Really?- The Science of Love

You’re walking through the grocery store aisle and walk past a handsome young man, immediately you are drawn to him. Your eyes interlock and BAM, you’re in love (HAHA).

That’s how quickly it happens. Well, my friends, there is much more to love than cross the eyes.

The idea of love has been sensationalized. Often we see Love as this explosive physical attraction and intimate connection we share with someone. As Valentine’s day is rolling by this weekend, we’ve become programmed to buying gifts, chocolate, and roses, but what if I told you to love is simply science. Let’s explore this together.

There is so much research on the science of falling in love. Truth be told, much of love is brain chemistry! Hear me out. I am not a cynic by any means, I love love, just like the next person, but my scientific brain, need some answers (smile).

Our brain is wired to allow us to love. There are three categories to romantic love; lust, attraction, and attachment. Each of these categories is facilitated by a different hormone (neurotransmitters).

Lust is associated with increased levels of sex hormones. For females, it’s an increase in estrogen, and for males, testosterone levels increase.

Attraction is generated by Dopamine, Serotonin, and Norepinephrine. Dopamine allows you to pursue reward. Sometimes we can become addicted to a surge of dopamine and “seeking reward”, leading to serial dating.

Attachment is facilitated by Oxytocin and Vasopressin. Oxytocin is also referred to as the “cuddle hormone”. Oxytocin plays an important role in bonding between a mother and baby.

Dopamine, produced by the hypothalamus, is a particularly well-publicized player in the brain’s reward pathway – it’s released when we do things that feel good to us. In this case, these things include spending time with loved ones and having sex. High levels of dopamine and a related hormone, norepinephrine, are released during attraction. These chemicals make us giddy, energetic, and euphoric, even leading to decreased appetite and insomnia – which means you actually can be so “in love” that you can’t eat and can’t sleep.

Harvard

There’s a deep, complex relationship between mood, attraction, love, and neurotransmitters. So, my friends, the next time you say I love you, remember, you learn it here first, that love is chemistry working on your behalf. Share it with a friend.

Below, you can find an awesome infographic on love.

nm-science-of-love-infographic
Northwestern University

How cool is our brains?

And to think, my parent thought I was still love sick!

Reference: Harvard Study

7 Comments

  1. So this is very interesting Jaara. So tell me, is your brain at work when it comes to love? You’re making me question some things about what love really is….it has to be more than just simple science. Great piece thou😊😊😊

    Liked by 2 people

  2. Interesting, to think about it MY BRAIN is at work whenever it comes to CERTAIN people 😃about love! I love this tho, thanks for sharing.😍😍

    Liked by 1 person

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