Dating and chemicals in the brain
Your palms sweat, your heart races, and you can practically feel the adrenaline surging through your body? In the early throes of a romantic relationship, your brain sends a signal to the adrenal gland (located on top of the kidneys) to pump out the chemicals adrenaline, epinephrine, and norepinephrine, giving you a rush of excitement. Like dopamine, it makes us feel good—but it also makes us feel infatuated and obsessed. From an evolutionary standpoint, this response developed to help us procreate, then raise offspring together.
Did you know the love drive is stronger than the sex drive?
During this phase, the limbic system continues to release dopamine, which acts as a feel-good electrical current and keeps you craving the person you love.
When the object of your desire is not around, you may feel like you’re in withdrawal, motivating you to see him or her again. While falling in love, we often ignore red flags that our friends see loud and clear.
As with any drug, however, the high has diminishing returns—which is why, after a few months, the rush can weaken and people fall out of love. That’s because—while other parts of the limbic reward system are lighting up like a Christmas tree—the amygdala decides to shut down, according to brain scans, taking our good judgment with it.
The amygdala, a set of neurons located in the temporal lobe, plays a big role in how we react to stimuli.
When we fall for someone, our brains release a cocktail of chemicals, creating feelings of euphoria and pleasure and (if all goes well) closeness and comfort.That complex organ inside our head is hardwired to want love and keep love at all costs—a response that has been crucial to the survival of our species. Here’s what happens in your brain at six stages of romantic love. Every time you think about this person, you feel giddy—you feel really good. The neurons in your brain are releasing dopamine, a feel-good hormone and neurotransmitter associated with euphoria (as well as gambling and drug addiction).