Einstein said: “There is an extremely powerful force for which science, up to now, has not found a formal explanation … This universal force is love”.
This famous statement was delivered in 1905 but since then science has taken big step forwards. In fact, today it is possible to say that all the typical emotions of falling in love do not depend on our heart and are not “romantic” emotions but depend on our brain and biological reactions.
This is because the brain, during a reaction, produces a series of hormones and molecules that influence our behavior:
- Pheromone: they send olfactory signals and allow us to select the partner;
- Adrenaline and Noradrenaline: they cause increased of palpitations, agitation, arousal, sexual attraction and a sense of well-being;
- Testosterone and estrogen: in men and also in women increases sexual desire
- Oxytocin: it is called the “love hormone” and allows us to express our feelings with hugs, kisses, caresses and other “gestures of love”;
- Dopamine: is a neurotransmitter involved in the transmission of nerve impulses. During the stages of falling in love it is produced in large quantities and is responsible for pleasure and euphoria.
All these substances alter the perception of reality and therefore love is thought to be like a drug and we are addicted to being loved. In fact, if a relationship ends during this period, there is a sense of abstinence similar to that experienced by a person who uses drugs and/or alcohol.
Is love forever?
The abundant production of these substances is not infinite because our brain and our body could not bear it. For this reason after 5-7 of relationship the body and mind get used to that “drug” and this no longer causes the same initial effect. Therefore we talk about the phase of disenchantment that is believed to be responsible for the famous crisis of the 5th or 7th years in stable relationships.
However, this does not mean that love has vanished, simply a new phase of love begins, the real one, based on concrete values such as respect, trust and complicity. This may allows the couple to move from fulfillment to realism and work towards building a love that will last forever.