Love is like a drug. The butterflies in the stomach, that feeling that you are floating on top of the world, feeling so special and seeing the other person as the most wonderful in the world … It is all so beautiful in love that it creates addiction .
Many movies, songs, novels, paintings, etc., have love as their main theme. But love is not an exclusive human feeling . If the formation of long-term pair bonds is taken as a criterion for the existence of love, then other mammals and birds also show this tendency to fall in love.
Another important criterion for the existence of love is the great investment that parents make for their offspring. Because humans invest so much in their children, the emotion of love evolved in our species. So we throw ourselves into the company of the person we love long enough to successfully raise the offspring.
Because of these changes that we experience, science has become interested in love and the reactions that it provokes within us. Studies have separated three different stages or phases that are also related to different hormones .
The phases of love
An important factor contributing to the mystery surrounding the emotion of love is that it is not a simple emotion . The emotion of anger , for example, is easy to understand. Someone does something that violates your rights or harms your interests and you feel angry or angry with that person.
But love , especially romantic love, is much more complex than that. In order to better understand the things that love is made of, a good idea is to think of love as part of the various phases that we all go through when we fall in love , from the moment we feel the first pang of desire to establish a relationship. Long-term, secure romantic relationship with someone.
Phase 1: Lust
Lust is the first of the phases of love, when you start to like a person. When you look at someone, the stage is created to start falling in love with that person , as if it were a crush . You may like their physical appearance, the way they talk, walk or move in general, or you can fall in love with their attitude and personality.
Lust is the basic sex drive that motivates a person to seek multiple sexual partners. You may be sexually interested in many people, but chances are you are not looking to establish a romantic relationship with all of them . In this phase of infatuation you look a little more at that person with whom you want to establish a longer-term romantic relationship , especially if you notice some reciprocity.
The physical symptoms of the lust phase are flushing when talking to that special someone, trembling, and even increased heart rate. Your hormones are unleashing in this phase. Dopamine creates feelings of euphoria, while adrenaline and norepinephrine are responsible for increased heart rate and restlessness.
The psychological symptoms may include sexual arousal, fanciful thoughts with that person and anxiety stemming from the fear of being rejected. It is anxiety provoking to constantly be under pressure to try to impress your crush and not to do anything “silly” that might give him a negative image of you. But, this anxiety is what makes you often say nonsense or nonsensical things, that you act more clumsy. This is because you are more concerned or worried about that person you like than about the way you speak or act.
Phase 2: Attraction, Infatuation
In this phase you begin to feel a strong attraction for that special person. In fact, in this phase you become obsessed with that person . This usually happens if the other person also shows interest in you. If the lust phase is more open to different sexual partners, the attraction phase focuses on the person who corresponds to your feelings.
The attraction phase activates your brain’s reward systems as you feel an overwhelming fixation on your partner. This same part of the brain is what is activated in those who suffer from obsessive compulsive disorder or OCD . This means that you can spend a lot of time looking at their photos, looking at their profiles on social networks and you can even plan “fortuitous” encounters with that person. You can also start dreaming about him or her at night.
Ultimately, your brain tries to trick you into thinking that this person you are hooked on or hooked on is perfect for you. This is part of the conservation instinct of the human species, since thanks to this deception of the brain, couples that will seek procreation are formed. Finding a partner and reproducing is too important a task, evolutionarily speaking, to think rationally about the deficiencies of your sexual partner.
Phase 3: Join or reject
When the romantic attraction wears off, there comes a phase where the blinding effect of hormones and neurotransmitters ends and you begin to see your partner for who he really is. If this reality meets your criteria as to what your long-term partner should be, then attachment or union appears, otherwise, it is rejected and the romantic relationship is broken .
But this can also happen in reverse, that is, if your partner rejects you after the second phase, then you sink into the depths of despair, especially if you are still in the attraction phase. However, if your partner accepts you, euphoria invades you.
Being in the third phase, you begin to ask yourself questions to evaluate if your partner has a future with you. Questions like if you can trust him or her or if you see yourself capable of sharing the rest of your life with that person will haunt your mind. If you answer these questions in the affirmative, the attraction becomes a stable long-term bond . It is possible that you no longer feel that madness for each other, but you will have the certainty that you want to be together no matter what.
In this bonding stage, endorphins and the hormones vasopressin and oxytocin flood your body, creating an overall sense of well-being and security that will lead to a lasting romantic relationship . This stage, therefore, evolved to motivate people to stay together long enough to complete the responsibilities with respect to the offspring that we discussed earlier.
It may happen that at this stage you are aware that something in the relationship does not fit as well as it should , but you still hold on to it. This will cause you to harbor feelings of resentment that will end up breaking that romantic relationship.