Falling In Love
The first step in the process of falling in love is the initial attraction. That powerful moment when we walk past someone or meet another at a social event and you feel energized and are immediately aware of our heart pounding. Amen (2007) shares that this initial experience is caused by the firing of neurotransmitters in your brain, that increase in dopamine production resulting in a feeling of pleasure. Once the couple begins to spend time together, the two are in a sort of love euphoria. Somatic results such as a lack of appetite, a nauseous stomach, a feeling of adrenaline and energy and overall optimistic feeling about the world describe a person who is newly in love. Through emotional bonding, a feeling of security and safety is often shared in couples who are newly in love. They see the world through the lens of love and most everything is tolerable and everything their partner does is delightful! We feel happy and alive. We are eager to share our new enthusiasm towards life and love with the world and find it difficult to relate to others who are not experiencing the same excitement. Our brains support falling in love which is why we have such a strong physiological response when we are attracted to another. Amen (2007) shares that “romantic love and infatuation are not so much of an emotion as they are motivational drives that are part of the brains reward system”. (pg 59)
How does romantic love evolve?
"Your task is not to seek for love, but merely to seek and find all the barriers within yourself that you have built against " Rumi
Romantic love evolves when one feels a sense of interdependence, attachment and that their psychological needs are being met. Sternberg’s 1986 article, “A Triangle Theory of Love” discusses that there are three components of love: intimacy, commitment and passion. Romantic love is thought to evolve as a couple grows together and bonds together. Some researchers would share that oxytocin plays a part in the evolution of romantic love as it is released in the brain during orgasm which contributes to the couples ability to bond with one another.
Amen D: The Brain In Love. New York, Three Rivers Press, 2007
Sternberg, Robert , J (1986). A Triangular Theory of Love, Psychological Review 93 (2): 119–135