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What is The Science of Love and attraction?

 

When we say I love you, we usually don't think of why or what happened to make us feel that way in the first place, I mean,there's science behind this stuff.Today's question is"What is love?".
We're gonna find out and we're starting right now!When talking about love first we have to define what kind of love it is that we're talking about. 

Impersonal love is like loving your favorite food or loving a cause or loving that pair of shoes that you got at the mall the other day. Interpersonal love refers to the love between humans, you know the romantic stuff that movies and fantasies are made out of. 


That is the love that we're talking about today and this question of interpersonal love and what it is and what makes it happen brings us to Helen Fisher. Helen is an American anthropologist and human behavior researcher, also known as, the expert on the biology of love and attraction. According to Helen love stems from three main emotions, the first one is lust. If you watched 50 shades of gray you're probably familiar with what lust is. The second one is attraction.

This one determines what mates find attractive and what they pursue. The third one is attachment which Helen defines as the deep feelings of union with a long-term partner. This union that she speaks of comes from having children or sharing a living space or having feelings of safety and security with the person that you're with. 

She says romantic love begins as the person that you're with takes on special meaning and then as you focus intensely on that person that you're with you can have all kinds of bodily indicators of the initial stages of being "in" love. 

Warning side effects of love include separation anxiety, possessiveness, a pounding heart shortness of breath, increased testosterone or estrogen and can cause your brain to release neurotransmittershormones dopamine and serotonin which are the things that get released by amphetamines and can lead to increased heart rate, loss of appetite and an intense feeling of excitement. The rabbit hole of love goes even deeper. 


In 2006 Helen's MRI experiments proved that two areas of the brain become active when somebody's in love. The first is the ventral tegmental area or the VTA. The VTA is part of the brain's reward system and is associated with cognition, motivation, orgasm, drug addiction and intense emotions connected to love and psychiatric disorders. 

The second is the caudate nucleus which is connected to vocabulary, movement, learning, memory, sleep and social behavior. Now all those crazy feeling that you have when you're falling in love makes sense. 

Unfortunately love and attraction statistically dwindle away after one and a half to three years on average but luckily, for the love birds reading this article, attachment can last your entire lifetime. Helen also mentions in her book "Why him why her?" that people tend to choose partners with chemical makeups that complement their own. For example a female with high estrogen levels is more likely to be attracted to a male with high testosterone levels and vice versa. 

Chemically there's also something called the major histocompatibility complex or MHC for those of us who never want to see that again. MHC is a set of genes that mightplay a role in picking partners by... how they smell. 

People rate the body odors of people with MHC genes that are different than their own as more attractive.According to Helen research psychology also plays a role in romantic love. We unconsciously develop a list of traits that we look for in an ideal partner that we construct during our childhood. That means that if we like how kind our mother is and we like how light-heated our dad is when problems arise we're more likely to add those to our list of traits that we look for an ideal partner. You'll also be delighted to know that since romantic love has a strong chemical base you can actually hack your love to keep it hotter than burning H2. 


Having new experiences with your partner like going to a new city or going to a restaurant that you never eaten at before or any kind of new experience like that can increase dopamine in both of your brains. Any kind of touching like holding hands for example can drive up Oxycontin which is known as the hormone love and is also associated with the long lasting element of love attachment. 

It's also very important to note that in order to make all of this love possible you have to love yourself. Self-love, according to psychologist and social philosopher Eric Fromm, is not to be confused with conceit or arrogance. Self-love is simply taking responsibility for yourself and caring about yourself and being honest with yourself about your dreams your desires your strengths or weaknesses as well as knowing what you are willing to put up with or sacrifice for another person. 


Self-love is about making sure that you're okay and you're being treated fairly in life and in your relationships and that you're willing to express yourself your desires and your expectations of all the people that you deal with and the person that you're falling in love with. 

If you love yourself you're going to increase your chances of having a healthy and long lasting attachment period because according to Eric Fromm, you must first love yourself in order to truly be able to love another person. So love yourself,love others and send some love my way by leaving a comment below and let me know who or what it is that you love. 
And after you leave your comment go ahead and share this article with the person you love as a way to let them know that you love them.Thank you so much for reading.

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