WebMD Explores Falling In Love

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WebMD Explores Falling In Love
A website more known for diagnosing bodily ailments gets touchy, feely.

We equate WebMD with helping us diagnose our headache (is it a brain tumor?) or whether we should call in sick or toughen up and drink a power shake.

So when we we stumbled upon a rather detailed feature called "Timeline of a Love Affair" we raised an eyebrow.

WebMD is soft and fuzzy now? And you think you know someone!

We're a sucker for these types of things because it's always fascinating to read what's going on biologically during the first pangs of a crush. (We're reluctant to call it "falling in love.")

Why do our appetites vanish, for example? And why is four hours of sleep just fine if we've spent it with someone tasty?

According to WebMD, and psychologist Dorothy Tennov, we can thank a handy little condition called "limerence" for these very common physiological changes.

Limerence, coined in the 1970s by Dorothy, is the first stage of love. On par with infatuation, a person in the throes of limerence becomes euphoric and obsessed. Their new fling can do no wrong. The term "rose-colored lenses" comes to mind, and while many of the symptoms are great, a crush that ends abruptly can cause the pendulum to swing in the opposite direction. Yes, we've all been there and yes, the feeling can be addictive.

During limerence, dopamine (the feel good chemical) skyrockets. High dopamine is attributed to an increase in energy and a decrease in appetite. It's a temporary condition similar to being on cocaine or amphetamines, where we're temporarily blissful, footloose and fancy-free. While many of the symptoms are great, a crush that ends abruptly can cause the pendulum to swing in the opposite direction, and the crash of dopamine is what causes the tears and depression (like what we'd imagine bottoming out after a coke binge would be like).

Keep reading...

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