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City & State or ZIP Tonight, this weekend, May 5th...
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Your brain in love?

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

190 comments Add your comment

Celisea

March 19th, 2012
11:06 am

But when u hear her talk about a current man,she talks like she is 25. All smitten!No growth there!

And you have just validated Diva’s post…lol

SlimUno

March 19th, 2012
11:07 am

Sassy – Just like the trees are blowing their pollen or what I like to call tree sea man all over town, I think dudes are in the process of doing the same. Chuck it up to Nature :lol:

So along with the topic, many describe a difference in “puppy love” or young love compared with an older more mature, experience driven love as they get up in age. So do you all think that deep hard love only happens when you’re young, a blank canvas that has not been tainted yet?…so when you get older, it’s less about LOVE persay but more about Partnership, stability, comfort????

Lady~

March 19th, 2012
11:07 am

Ex you so funny! Sassy is grown hell we all are if folks want to get together so be it I was just saying lol ;)

Sassy Me..Juicy Fruit ;-)

March 19th, 2012
11:10 am

Good memories (I’m not going there with you ;-) ) or not Exiled…that doesn’t give him the right to pop up at my house.

just cause you USED TO date them you think you got it like that?

I’m not sure what his real intent was but we’ll never know…

disco

March 19th, 2012
11:11 am

good morning.

lolalee – loving your translation on “let’s move in together”. good one.

Sassy Me..Juicy Fruit ;-)

March 19th, 2012
11:13 am

LOL @ Slim!!

Now I’m hearing that song Nature by James Brown in my head :lol:

disco

March 19th, 2012
11:18 am

I keep thinking of those old commercials with the fried eggs. this is your brain – this is your brain on “love”.

kimmie

March 19th, 2012
11:23 am

disco – I think you were reading my mind, because I was about to type the same as your 11:18! That’s all I’ve been thinking about every time I read the topic!

disco

March 19th, 2012
11:31 am

funny kimmie because I’d been thinking it all morning and was trying to avoid being corny so early. still, it wouldn’t go away so I just put it out there.

i'm swiss

March 19th, 2012
11:35 am

“How come (yes how come) we aren’t as gullible or susceptibile now as we were then….if it’s scientific? Explain that please”

For one, these physiological changes produce what we would commonly refer to as “feelings” which only influence behavior. When you are cognitively aware that something is a bad decision, you can certainly overcome such influence. Also, over time, the type of person who induces these physiological responses in you may change.

Celisea

March 19th, 2012
11:41 am

Swiss – :) I knew you’d come through… I figured you or Dreams

Lady~

March 19th, 2012
11:42 am

good post swiss!

Lady~

March 19th, 2012
11:42 am

i'm swiss

March 19th, 2012
11:45 am

Celisea

March 19th, 2012
11:46 am

Like I stated earlier, I know everything about us can be defined and explained scientifically but matters of the heart shouldn’t be pinpointed….of course IMHO :)

Hey there Lady!

Leggs

March 19th, 2012
11:49 am

@lolalee ~ nice breakdown of “let’s move in together.”

@SassyMe ~ nice breakdown on letting foolish man know if he wants to keep his life to keep stepping.

This topic reminds me Ledise’s new song, Bravo.

i'm swiss

March 19th, 2012
11:50 am

“matters of the heart shouldn’t be pinpointed….of course IMHO”

Why not, C? What’s so bad about seeking knowledge?

Lady~

March 19th, 2012
11:51 am

This topic reminds me Ledise’s new song, Bravo.<<<<<<<<<<Awesome Song Leggs!

disco

March 19th, 2012
11:52 am

swiss – while the “heart wants what the heart wants” some of us still can’t help but to ask “why”. others don’t worry about the why, they simply “follow their heart”.

Lady~

March 19th, 2012
11:53 am

good point disco

i'm swiss

March 19th, 2012
11:58 am

disco — Yes, except it’s not actually the heart being followed; it’s the brain, influenced by chemical reactions. ;-)

Lady~

March 19th, 2012
11:59 am

interesting…………

Sassy Me..Juicy Fruit ;-)

March 19th, 2012
12:00 pm

Thanks Leggs…Mr. Bermuda is a good guy but a stunt like that wouldn’t have been tolerated well.

Swiss good post..very well stated…

Celisea

March 19th, 2012
12:01 pm

Swiss – I don’t mean so much in trying to “understand” scientfically what makes us tick. I just think when it comes to matters of the heart and not to sound contradictory it’s not so easily layed out with an explanation. I think that’s the beauty of it. Being in or out, up or down, pulled left or right. Knowing more now than then but by way of experience and instintively. Learning how to let go and go with it. I think pulling science into love takes the beauty out of it.

Too, if while we’re explaining, someone throw something in there (if we must explain) for the busters that muddy the waters…lol Now if someone can help me understand from that perspective I’m all ears. Otherwise, let love and the heart do what it’s going to do. Experience the joys and pains of it all. For a good man, I’m good learning, unfolding, unraveling as I go :)

disco

March 19th, 2012
12:02 pm

swiss – and try telling that to the folks who are following their heart. and another can of worms (forgive me for going here) but there are those that equate “following their heart” with “going with God” in the sense that they consider following the heart to be “stepping out on faith”.

Lady~

March 19th, 2012
12:03 pm

i agree C!!!!! that’s life!

Celisea

March 19th, 2012
12:07 pm

Lady :)

Alright folks, see ya!

Willie Dynamite

March 19th, 2012
12:09 pm

Afternoon All,

Interesting perspectives on all sides. I am totally unqualified to make sense of it all.

Bluzgirl

March 19th, 2012
12:13 pm

I really can’t be on topic today. I don’t want to be a Debbie Downer, but my friend and ex boyfried died on Friday. We were together for 3 years and broke up about 4 years ago. We remained good friends. He has been getting sicker and sicker lately, but this was still unexpected. I’m just in shock.

Anyway…I need a little advice…my most recent ex (of only last month) has not checked on me at all. I texted him Friday to tell him what happened and he just texted that he was sorry to hear that. We were together for 2 years and just broke up. I don’t expect him to come running to me, but he knew how much my friend meant to me. Shouldn’t he have at least texted to check on me?!?! This has made me get over him so much faster. The thing is that it’s hard for me to deal with this anger when I’m dealing with such grief. I want to write him and tell him how upset and disappointed I am (as well as ask for some of my things back). ugh!!!

i'm swiss

March 19th, 2012
12:22 pm

C — Fair enough. For me, I guess understanding how something works and enjoying it are not mutually exclusive. EX: I understand how my boners work, but I still relish each and every one. :lol:

disco — I actually think faith is a good thing (yes, this is still me talking). Of course, the danger is that faith can be easily manipulated. Some things need to be questioned, and often aren’t in the name of “faith.”

disco

March 19th, 2012
12:23 pm

bluzgirl – sorry for your loss. my advice – stop harping on the most recent ex. you’ve put in too much work here lately to even want to run back to him for emotional support. lean on the friends/family that you’ve leaned on to help you during the breakup. the guy is likely doing you a favor by not being supportive right now. you might find yourself caught up again if he appears as the shoulder to cry on (it’s been known to happen). do what you’ve been doing and that’s take care of you. don’t worry about him and whether or not he calls or texts.

disco

March 19th, 2012
12:26 pm

swiss – faith is a great thing. I just know that I’ve heard countless folks say “the Lord put it on my heart” to do such and such. you can’t tell those folks to go against that and make a rational, brain-inspired decision. well, you can tell them but you likely won’t get far. (and by the way I agree with you that some things need to be questioned I just tossed that out there for perspective).

SlimUno

March 19th, 2012
12:29 pm

Bluz – I agree with disco…it’s a natural reaction to want to go to what’s familiar to you for support. It sounds to me as if you recent ex checked out emotionally a long time ago (just me looking in from the outside) so please do not put too much stock into his current reaction to your loss, which I’m sorry to hear about. From the things you’ve said, I just don’t think exguy wants the obligation of a relationship even at this time when you’re looking him to lean on. Keep moving forward…and if you haven’t wanted your things back up until this point, you can’t get mad at him because he didn’t behave or react how You hoped he would and want to ask for stuff back now

Bluzgirl

March 19th, 2012
12:31 pm

Thanks Disco…I’m not even really dwelling on whether or not he calls or texts at this point. I just kind of think that if he ever really cared about me, he would be there in some way. I’m just so angry and want to tell him how much of an a hole he is. I’m definitely done with him. I’ve now seen the kind of person he really is.

Bluzgirl

March 19th, 2012
12:33 pm

I was going to wait at least another month to reach out to him to ask for my things back (including money that he promised me), but I kind of just want to be done now.

disco

March 19th, 2012
12:36 pm

bluz – now I have to ask… he was living with you and you were holding his things until he made arrangements. aside from the money, how is it that he wound up with your things? not being funny, I really don’t understand. still, to agree with slim – whatever those things are you might want to prepare yourself to chalk them up to the game and let it go. if he hasn’t returned the stuff voluntarily by now you will only look like a pesty little bugaboo who is trying to hold on if you keep asking for stuff now.

SlimUno

March 19th, 2012
12:42 pm

disco – I agree with you again…In some cases, not all, the wait to exchange goods or whatever can be a subconscious way to hold onto a tie between the parties involved in the break up…almost as if, it’s not over as long as that last order of business has been completed. Unless a person is holding onto the only keys to their car or has their birth certificate/passport etc then all that other stuff is just misc bs. No offense.

Bluzgirl

March 19th, 2012
12:44 pm

It’s only a couple things that he has…two drills that were given to me for Christmas (he’s using them at work and promised to buy new ones so that I can have mine). He also has my jumper cables that my dad bought me and he forgot to leave them when he moved his stuff out. He only promised a little money and I’m not really counting on that. It’s not like this stuff is extremely important, but I need them and do not have the money to go buy new ones. He’s working now and should have already bought new drills. The reason he hasn’t brought them back is that he knew I needed at least 60 days to not be in contact with him.

I guess I really want to reach out because I’m angry about him not even caring. I’m realizing that he must have checked out a long time ago. I’m just so furious about it. Maybe I just need something to lash out at right now because of my loss. You know…I can’t really talk to anyone about this right now.

i'm swiss

March 19th, 2012
12:45 pm

Bluz — This is going to sound harsh, but I don’t mean to be — You are the poster child for today’s topic. Everyone else on earth can see that you just need to move on — so much so that’s it’s borderline infuriating listening to your stories. (Sorry, that sounded harsh, but it’s true). All those feelings you have, they’re just the byproduct of chemical reactions in your brain. Think about this logically. He’s your ex. He doesn’t want to be your shoulder to cry on, and you don’t need to keep reaching out to him. Just move on.

disco

March 19th, 2012
12:48 pm

swiss – would you happen to know the antidote for the chemical reactions? have we discussed that yet? can someone go buy a bottle of “get right” or something.

i'm swiss

March 19th, 2012
12:49 pm

disco — From my own — ahem — experiments, weed usually helps. :lol:

Bluzgirl

March 19th, 2012
12:50 pm

Swiss…I know. I have been trying to move on. I never expected him to come running back, but a simple text asking how I’m doing would be nice. I just can’t believe how cold he can be. I mean…this is really going to help me to move on. I never wanted to hate him and hoped we could be friends way down the line, but I can never see that happening now. I only reached out that one time on Friday to tell him about the death of my friend. It just hurts to realize that I invested so much in that relationship and now I know where I really stand…

Lady~

March 19th, 2012
12:51 pm

Swiss I wonder when I start practicing counseling sessions could I be that candid…… ;)

cba

March 19th, 2012
12:57 pm

Swiss, since I have a daughter and I know Bg is someone daughter, I’ll keep my comments.
But if I did comment, it would be your 12:45. I don’t have migranes but I feel one coming on.

i'm swiss

March 19th, 2012
12:58 pm

Bluz — I get it, I do. But there’s a key difference between men & women: most men don’t want to be friends with their exes. Guys have other guy friends. Friendship, typically, is not what we want from women. Intimacy is what we want from women (not just physical, but emotional intimacy as well), and you can’t have that with a woman that is supposedly just your friend.

Sassy Me..Juicy Fruit ;-)

March 19th, 2012
12:59 pm

He doesn’t want to be your shoulder to cry on, and you don’t need to keep reaching out to him. Just move on.

Needed repeating….Bluzgirl it’s not going to happen over night but you’ve got to let him go…emotionally. Liken it to a grieving phase of sorts b/c you’re mourning the relationship…but also realize that this too shall pass. His nonresponse should be an indicator to you…maybe he’s just a mean azz and doesn’t care enough about you to call/text or maybe he’s done what you should be doing…moving on. It’s hard baby gurl but hitting your head against the same wall will hurt more…I’m jus sayin….

SlimUno

March 19th, 2012
1:02 pm

The reason he hasn’t brought them back is that he knew I needed at least 60 days to not be in contact with him

Bluz – Not to beat you up while you’re down but your point of venting right now is because he didn’t give you the ‘caring’ reaction you hoped or felt you deserved yet you say he knows he was not supposed to contact you because you needed the space. :???:

but a simple text asking how I’m doing would be nice

Swiss is right about your situation tying in with the topic…you’re really just searching for that fix…recovering drug addicts still crave the feeling the drug used to give them. Your endorphins are sort of depleted at the moment so when you reached out to him, that was like a crackhead hanging out with folks they used to use with in hopes they get ‘just one mo hit’ of the good good. So had he given you the overly concerned reaction do you feel it would give you a false sense that things could be rekindled?? You even said yourself that “now you know where you stand” but you guys are broken up so surely you knew where you stood all the times he didn’t take heed to your needs as far as communicating with you when he was on the road or whatever, right? Maybe your rose colored glasses are clearing up and you’re just now seeing it perhaps

Bluzgirl

March 19th, 2012
1:07 pm

I know. I don’t even really need to be thinking about this because I’m mourning the loss of my friend. I’ve been there for my friend’s wife all weekend (we are good friends also). I’m going through so many emotions of losing him. Maybe this anger towards recent ex is a way of me handling this other loss. I don’t know how to grieve about this death. I’ve never had a death so close to me where I am involved in helping with the house and planning a memorial here (he will be buried in New Orleans). My head hasn’t been able to process this loss.

Leggs

March 19th, 2012
1:15 pm

“….my most recent ex (of only last month) has not checked on me at all. I texted him Friday to tell him what happened and he just texted that he was sorry to hear that.” – WHAT??? Am I reading this right in that “he hasn’t checked on me.” Are you kidding, Bluz??? That man does not have to check on you, and for you to be over there pissed that he hasn’t blows me away. He extended his condolences out of respect for the relationship you two HAD. He’s your ex, not your first cousin, sister or brother. Sorry to say, but once a man cuts his losses (sorry lack of a better phrase), he’s done. You should do the same thing. Don’t look to that man to massage your heart in any way.

Leggs

March 19th, 2012
1:18 pm

@Bluz ~ I apologize, I was so surprised by that sentence that I completely forgot why you even typed that sentence.

So sorry you lost one of your dear friends. Remember all the good and remember some of the things about life you learned from him. My condolences…