“So being in love is like being hooked up to a perpetual dopamine drip, and you get a little hit every time you see the person or touch them or think about them?”
It’s all very enlightening – answering and confirming a lot of questions I’ve had the past few years.
“You can think of love as an intense obsession, but it’s really an addiction. You think about them all the time; you become sexually possessive; you get butterflies in the stomach; you can read their emails and texts over and over again.”
Very true, and I prefer the word “addiction” over “obsession.” Lord knows a bad breakup can feel like withdrawal. I’ve been able to easily walk away from several relationships – but those weren’t LOVE.
“But I say it’s an addiction because we found that, in addition to the dopamine system being activated in the brains of people in love, we also found activity in another part of the brain called the nucleus accumbens.”
Wherever it takes place in the brain, it feels GOOD.
“This part of the brain is activated in all forms of behavioral addiction — whether it’s drugs or gambling or food or kleptomania. So this part of the brain fires up in people who have recently fallen in love, and it really does function like an addiction.”
And it’s because of all this that casual sex isn’t always so casual:
“It’s not casual because when you have sex with somebody, and it’s pleasurable, it drives up the dopamine system in the brain. That can push you over the threshold into falling in love.”
Been there, that’s for sure.
Again, its like an addiction. Why else, after the hurt and the pain of withdrawal, would I still want to pursue the ideal, and want to fall in love again? Because, SCIENCE!