Falling in love is perhaps one of the most exhilarating experiences we can feel as humans. Feeling that type of connection triggers feelings of euphoria and creates a feeling that can be likened to a drug-induced high. But when you get down to it, falling in love serves a much deeper, biological purpose. It makes people want to stay together, form families and raise children, which inevitably ensures the survival and thriving of our species. At the risk of bursting the romantic Valentine’s Day bubble, we wanted to know what happens chemically in our bodies when we are in love. Research has found that there is a legitimate chemical reaction in our bodies when we fall in love. Here is what happens:
Higher Dopamine Levels
Dopamine is a chemical in the brain that is responsible for pleasure and pain. When dopamine levels spike, it creates a euphoric feeling and gives the body an overall sense of well-being. Higher dopamine levels are also brought about by taking opioid drugs such as morphine and hydrocodone. When humans get used to this effect, it can be incredibly addictive, which leads to withdrawals if dopamine levels return to normal base levels. This goes to show how powerful the rush can be when two people fall in love and how painful it can be when a relationship ends.
When you start falling for someone, it can be incredibly exciting and even scary at times. That is because there is often a boost of adrenaline when you see or think about someone you’re highly attracted to. This is why it’s common to have sweaty palms and rapid heart beats, especially when a relationship is just starting to thrive, often referred to as the “Honeymoon Phase.”
Serotonin Levels Drop
In some instances, serotonin may levels fall to the point that a person develops symptoms that are similar to someone with obsessive-compulsive disorder. This can sometimes lead to feelings of anxiety and nervousness. For those who cannot control this feeling, or are not used to having it, it can also make a person obsess about their loved one. Rarer still, it can become unhealthy to the point where a person’s obsession over an object of their love can turn destructive and dangerous to both people.
These strong chemical reactions shows just how powerful love really is and what it does to the human body.