In a fascinating new book, Dirty Minds: How Our Brain Influences Love, Sex, and Relationships, author Kay Sukel explores the neurobiology of love. I am a science fan so this was right up my alley! I reached out to her and asked, “What happens to our brain when we fall in love?”
(Don’t laugh because when you realize that the stupid things you do and say when you are head over heels in love is rooted in science, it makes you feel better!)
Kayt Sukel: For a long time, we’ve thought of love as an emotion. But it’s got more a lot more staying power than that. Love results in actual physical changes to the brain. An important part of our “reptilian brain,” or the most evolutionarily preserved part of the human brain, helps to facilitate risk and reward processing.
Romantic love makes changes to that circuitry through the increase and decrease of key neurochemicals. That’s why love can make us feel physical sensations like butterflies in the belly or sweaty palms. It’s why love feels so good and compelling. It’s also why we can be both so obsessed with our intended yet so distracted by the rest of the world. And it’s why we often make bad decisions and see our lover in those rose-colored glasses. Love is a powerful, bold and neurally altering thing.
See? Love is neurally-altering! Perhaps this will help us when we are knee-deep in love and need a little insight.
Have you ever experienced this firsthand? Do you think you have worn those rose-colored glasses before? In hindsight, what did you learn about yourself?
Tomorrow, we will continue to dig into how the brain affects sex. Stay tuned!
By Wise Diva, Misadventures in Atlanta Dating Blog