The biochemistry of falling in love

The biochemistry of falling in love

The biochemistry of love alters our behaviors and generates different sensations .

That is why when we enter into the experience of love and falling in love we can do “crazy things”, or act differently than we would without being in love. This chemistry, these sensations, last from two to four years as long as the relationship is maintained.

Neurochemistry of falling in love

The neurochemistry of love generates a clearly pleasant sensation ; the brain in love works in a different way, so that in this process we experience certain sensations of ecstasy very similar to the brain of the addict.

In fact, the reward circuits are activated in much the same way as they do in the brain of a person with a diagnosable addiction. It is closely linked to these processes of dependence in terms of the activation of substances in the nervous system such as serotonin, oxytocin and dopamine, among others.

Phases of the process

When we fall in love there are two big phases. The first phase lasts about three years; during these years the hormones we were talking about are found to a greater extent in us.

After this stage comes a phase in which this hormone concentration drops , which is understood by many couples as a synonym for crisis. But it doesn’t have to be like that, and in fact, a much more mature and nourishing love can come, in which it is more important to have a life project together.

Two complementary parts

There are studies that indicate the importance of fluid exchange when falling in love. Especially when we kiss the other person, when we unconsciously detect if they have the antibodies we need . From this exchange of fluids and the influence of hormones, in part, we fall in love in about five months on average.

After this we enter the stage of falling in love with the great hormonal concentration, and during these three years (approximately) it is much more difficult to break the relationships , because for it it would be necessary to fight against the hormones of oneself.

Later on, reason comes into play. In this phase we think if the other person likes us, if he complements us, if we are happy together etc. Let’s say that “passionate love” is necessary to reach the “companion love” that many of us think is “true love”.

The bond of affection

When we fall in love a very strong bond is generated and, as we have mentioned, there is a certain component of “madness” because the prefrontal cortex of the brain, which is the most rational part of the human being, lowers its level of influence , so it is reasoned to a lesser extent.

Love can give us courage, for this very “madness” or courage to reason less and, in counterpoint, it can also lead us to feel that we are wasting our time if we are left alone with this feeling and the relationship is not viable.

On the other hand, passion is affected by hormones such as testosterone ; in addition to the sexual aspect, it can be important when it comes to getting excited and having more desire to undertake projects by making us feel stronger.

And when problems arise…

In Mariva Psychologists we have seen that most of the problems we encounter in therapy are related to love , which is an indication that it is one of the causes for which people suffer the most. Therefore, despite its great relevance in the lives of human beings, it is very important to demystify it

Love may not turn out well, but that doesn’t have to mean so much suffering or that you have some kind of personal problem; it may even be the opposite, that you have decided to walk away from a relationship that wasn’t working, which is a sign of reasoning.

When we are in love we release a lot of oxytocin, the hormone of love but also of forgiveness and justification. Therefore, anything the other person does that we might not like in others can make us fall even more in love if it is present in the person we fall in love with.

For example, if someone we like very much is cold, we tend to think that he is interesting, if he is a liar, to think that he is complex… It is something that has to be taken into account by demystifying love, not idealizing the other.

Loving is truly beautiful and important, but we must be aware of this loss of reason and also limit the suffering that lack of love can bring . For all this, the figure of the psychologist is especially useful.

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