Love, Neuroscience, Relationship, Friendship

Love is the most desired, a complex set of emotions, a matter of heart, is the complete feeling of surrender and mutual respect towards the physical as well as the emotional content of the well being, a union of two hearts. It’s very easy to fall in love, but it is very hard to be in a state of love for a long time. Mutual love is a hard thing, and very few are blessed actually to claim that they are in pure bliss. Love is often misunderstood as infatuation or attraction, which is just a small part of it. Sure, the attraction is very important in the initial stages of it as it is the starting point in any relationship. When a man is physically attracted to a woman or vise-versa, the part of the brain starts receiving positive signals, and the person feels attached to the person one wants to have a romantic inclination. There is an area in the brain called “Brain’s reward circuit,” that ignites or light up when the neurotransmitters like dopamine, Oxytocin, and Vasopressin get actively involved and are secreted in large amount thus resulting in the feeling of euphoria and fluttering butterflies in the stomach! The candlelit dinners and dating are all due to the natural feeling of attraction towards the opposite-sex and friendship or getting to know each other further strengthen the bond. Love is not an easy cake as it takes a lot of courage and time to impress the prince or princess, your dream, and many are rejected in the process.

Love is hard to explain because it creates a magical feeling, and a simple man can even woo a princess. It’s not money-driven for sure. The ideal life- partner tends to possess qualities that his o her love nest appreciates. It is more of an illusion as the lovers behave differently from normal people and tend to be happier. There are thousands of movies being made on love and romance. It is still an area of deep interest among authors and novelists. Everyone secretly wants to know what love is and how to find it, but only a few dare to open the key and find the rarest gift, to explore. Many heartbreaks are also caused if love is one-sided. The idea of falling for a person who least cares for you or love towards a movie star or a public personality should not be considered as love as it is a mixture of respect and likeness towards the physical features, personality, and social appearance. The sad part, it is merely an infatuation and attraction as one wants to be or look like. It is nothing but infatuation.

Love according to Neuroscience:-

Love, according to neuroscience, can be explained in a very different way. The dopamine is also known as the feel-good hormone, activates the reward circuit of the brain, and due to its high secretion, one can experience love in the most romantic way. It is a lot more pleasurable and satisfying. The neuroscientists are of the opinion that the euphoria of just being in love is very much similar to that of a drug addict and very similar to one on cocaine or alcohol. During the adolescent years, the body, as well as the brain of a person, is growing, and the novel mind and heart seek appreciation and have a natural tendency to experience something out of the box and get attached to someone or something. So, falling in love is very common during the teenage years though in most cases, it is actually just an infatuation or a physical yearning.

The chemicals that play a significant role in love are Dopamine, Oxytocin, Vasopressin, testosterone, and estrogen. The major role of Oxytocin is to make one feel more content, calm, and secure and is a female hormone that boosts the feeling of love. It is also called a love hormone and is secreted in the hypothalamus of the brain. It plays a vital role in developing female intimacy desires and in childbirth and also during motherhood earlier phases of breastfeeding. So, the greater the secretion of Oxytocin, the more reproductive and attractive the female would be.

Vasopressin is also a neurotransmitter like Dopamine and Oxytocin, and whereas dopamine elevates the mental status and make everything more pleasurable and its higher content is very favorable in lovemaking and feel extremely enthusiastic towards the idea of love, Vasopressin is the key neurotransmitter that produces the feeling of monogamous, long term, loyal and strong emotional bonding between the couples. Testosterone is the male hormone associated with intimacy drive and playa a major role in sperm production, bone, and muscle development. A good level of testosterone is very necessary for mood uplift, higher self-esteem. Estrogen is the female sex hormone that is responsible for developing the secondary female reproductive system. Without the proper secretion of these hormones, love is quite impossible to achieve.

True love is an extension of the physical bond and is more focussed on the emotional well being of two people madly in love with each other. It is the mature approach towards seeing life in more beautiful ways and is accompanied by a vision and is progressive in nature. But not everyone is blessed to find true love as due to high stress and more dreams, couples start to drift apart, and they think the love is over. Serotonin is a stress buster and a happy hormone that also plays an active role with the other five neurotransmitters. The decrease in serotonin levels results in depression and anxiety and drifting between couples due to high stress that is a common problem faced in cities.

Love is actually great for the overall development of the person’s physical and emotional needs and is well crafted with fantasies and procreation. But a normal man’s whole life ends in finding the real true love because most of the people are unaware of its great benefits and go on with ordinary lifestyle. Love is not found but is created with two souls and should have full faith and loyalty towards each other. Love is also considered as a Taboo for many as they are unaware of the true, real love, and their education is very limited. Many researchers are still working on the idea of true love. As it is often associated with a person, the moment the person stops reciprocating the way his/her partner wants, they feel as love is over, or it was just a mistake. Love is not a person. Love is a feeling, an idea, a mutual consent.

The Phases of love:-

1. Romantic attraction and Courtship

Romantic Attraction And Courtship

This is a very initial phase of falling in love with the physical outlooks of a person like personality, behaviors, attractiveness, pleasant nature, and good looks. Everyone wants their partner to be different from the rest and more attractive. This culminates in dating and courtships, trying to please each other, doing things just to impress the person, and getting appreciation in return. It really feels great to be a hero in someone’s life and bring a positive change in the relationship which is yet to begin. This phase lasts for about a year or two, and the lovers make promises and sighs just like in the romantic movies and want to merge as one. But sadly, not many love stories get to the next level i.e., coupling and end at the first level only!

2. The coupling as couples – Marriage

The Coupling As Couples, Marriage

The second phase of love is uniting as one by rituals or any other means giving their love, a social status. Married. This is the stage of procreation where the couples are still in very much in love and find a completely new beginning as husband and wife and explore a world of love, which is very satisfying. But this stage is lost soon as the female starts planning babies, and too much work pressure comes in, which may result in slowly drifting apart. People become more social, and the cacoon of love starts suffering as conflicts begin. Family, responsibilities, and financial insecurities come forefront, and passion and respect take a backseat. The process of starting a family is quite romantic at first, but due to the difference in ideology or cultural background or even different goals, slowly tear the magic. This is the starting phase of crisis and must be handled with utmost care.

3. Awakening- Crisis phase

Awakening, Crisis Phase, Love, Relationship

The third phase is the crisis phase. It is said so because after fifteen years of marriage, a woman needs to settle for her children, and she wants her life to run smoothly. Since man is the primary comfort providing means, there arise problems in the marriage as the lovey-dovey couple phase is over, and the couples have to be more mature as parents. During this phase, many marriages are broken. Also, when a man loses interest in his woman or vise-versa. It should be understood that this phase is the backbone of their eternal love, and if this phase is passed, then there is a true love waiting for them. This is the time of emotional balance and individual respect towards each other and should be focussed on the betterment of children and planning for the future.

4. Intimacy- Emotional involvement

Couple, Love, Hug, Romance, Romantic, Emotional Involvement

If a couple passes the third stage, they are already a winner because they have already gone through many ups and downs and settled, sense of settlement comes buying a property or an apartment or several others, and they have started things for their future. This time in the early 50’s the love is more focussed, and it is more united than ever. The real meaning of life is achieved. They care for each other as couples, and their family life is in bloom, they feel satisfied.

5. Radiant and True Love

Radiant, True Love, Old Couples, Sitting

True love is achieved. If a man still loves his woman, he will show ways to impress her yet again. Though life has changed and shaped a lot, and they have become grandparents, yet the amazing love they feel for each other is still intact. They start behaving in childish ways, just like their college years of youthful romance. They have seen it all together. They still feel special to each other. Though illness and diseases may weaken their body, their spirit is high elated. Their mind is full of memories they have created, and they erase the conflicts and bad stories and rekindle the spark. So love is the union of two souls.

This is followed by the completion stage, where the two hearts care for each other. If one dies due to some illness, the other partner is likely to miss him/her to a great deal and can even die in the course of time. Whatever be, one thing is certain that feeling of complete, ardent love is a whole process of life and not a short term achieved goal. True love needs devotion and dedication, and it should stand with times in need. It should be giving in nature, progressive, and aim towards personal as well as social growth of an individual. Being in love is natural and easy but to maintain the love when the world has fallen apart, and to regain the magic and charisma associated with it. A good life partner makes life full of meaning, but it needs a completely educated approach and should be mutual. Understanding, affection, vision, being there for each other, care, honesty, respect, and passion, all are very important to make an everlasting imprint on one’s mind. So, fall in love and then rise in love with much dignity and promises for a brighter and happier future. Love can act as a healer and a therapy too. Love can be conditional, and love can be pure. Love can be unconditional too. There are many shades of love; it could be a lifesaver or could be a curse like an addiction. So, handle the love with care and take positive attributes from love.