The Science of Love

If you’re like most people, you probably have some ideas about what love is, how it works, and why it matters. But, for centuries, scientists and philosophers have struggled to define love and explain how it works in human relationships.

Despite the lack of an agreed-upon definition, most researchers believe that there are several different types of love. These types range from the more traditional, passionate love (which can include attraction and sexual desire) to the long-term attachment that develops in intimate partnerships. While researchers don’t always agree about the exact characteristics of these types of love, most tend to agree that they are a natural part of human life and have an evolutionary basis.

One of the most obvious signs that you’re in love is when your partner takes up “major real estate” in your thoughts, says psychologist Jacqueline Olds. You might find yourself rehashing conversations in your mind while at work, or thinking about your next date days ahead of time. You may also start fantasizing about your future together and feeling excited just thinking about them.

A few studies have found that these feelings are associated with the release of neurotransmitters in the brain, such as dopamine and oxytocin. These chemicals can help to bond us with other people and increase our sense of connection. Another study showed that people in romantic love show an increased activity in the parts of their brains associated with reward and pleasure.

But, the science of love is still evolving. Psychologist and biologist Enrique Burunat argues that, rather than being an emotion, love is more of a biological drive similar to hunger, thirst, sleep and the sex drive. He points to research showing that the same regions of the brain are activated when we fall in love as when we eat, drink and sex.

Others, including psychologists and sociologists, argue that romantic and familial love are emotions and are characterized by specific features such as trust, closeness, and commitment. They point to the way that partners in long-term relationships often display these qualities and to the fact that they can endure even serious arguments without resorting to name-calling, insults, or excessive criticism. They also emphasize that loving partners share a strong sense of responsibility for the relationship, its problems and successes.

In addition, the right person will have the same values as you. This includes a commitment to treating other people with kindness and respect, and to living a life full of joy and meaning. They will also value family, friends and community and have a good-natured sense of humor.

In short, you’ll know your partner is the one when you’re both happy being yourself. If you feel a strong connection to them, but still enjoy your own interests and hobbies, that’s a good sign. If you both agree about major things, such as where to live and how to handle finances, that’s a great sign too.

By adminkeren
No widgets found. Go to Widget page and add the widget in Offcanvas Sidebar Widget Area.