Expert Blog Compelling advice, stories, and thought-provoking perspectives straight from YourTango's lineup of Experts to you

The REAL Reason Falling In Love Is So Darn Addicting

Love, Self

Love is the drug ... but that isn't necessarily a bad thing.

What is love? Is it a feeling in our hearts? Or more of a chemical reaction in our brains?

When we fall in love, do we have an ability to control ourselves? Or is it more akin to having a drug pumped into our bodies that controls us?

Perhaps it is a little of both.

Here's a common scenario: You haven't been dating very long, but you have it BAD. From the way he laughs at all of your jokes, to how his hand fits into yours.

Being with him is intoxicating; in fact, all it takes is one look to send your heart racing and make you fumble with your words.

He is all you think about. Try as you might, your mind wanders to him thousands of times a day and a day without a conversation feels like torture.

In your heart, you need to talk, to reach out, to touch...

The big question is, should we worry about this behavior? 

In the video above, YourTango Experts Senior VP, Melanie Gorman was joined by biological anthropologist Helen Fisher to discuss what it is about love that is so intoxicating.

Melanie and Dr. Fisher sat down with Clinical Psychologist Dr. Alicia H. Clark, Clinical Social Worker SaraKay Smullens, and Relationship Retreat Guide Mary Ellen Goggin and the conversation is fascinating!

These Experts reiterate the fact that when your relationship is going smoothly, the horizon seems pretty bright.

But when it is bad, this addiction can be hard to quit.

But why is that?

If you've ever been in love, then you know that love can be addicting. But there are scientific reasons why we fall as hard as we do.

Human Behavior Researcher Dr. Helen Fisher shares that, "brain circuitry for romantic love follows the same pathway as all of the other addictions do."

In that context, it isn't hard to see where she is coming from.

 

So, just what is love and why is it so hard to quit?

We have all been in a relationship where we lost ourselves completely, too blinded by our emotions to see that we're already at the finish line.

To our Experts, this experience could almost be considered normal.

For a time, we lose our logical minds and our brains are overtaken by feelings of love. Even if this just happens temporarily it's jarring and a tad shocking to your system.

And none of this is to say that the "addictive" phase of falling in love is bad.

You just need to understand why that is, and keep in mind that you still need to maintain healthy boundaries and pursue the outside interests you had before you met. Those things that make you feel good and feel more like yourself are still important, even when you are madly in love!

 

If you're still wondering what love is, watch the video above, and hear more of what our Experts have to say.

 

Interested in understanding more about why we love? Check out Anatomy of Love: A Natural History of Mating, Marriage, and Why We Stray, by Helen Fisher. 

 

Author
Expert

Expert advice

Save your breath because you only need two words to make him commit.
Are you REALLY thinking about their happiness?
If you keep finding yourself in heartbreaking, dead end relationships, listen up.
It seems like you can't do anything right.
Contributor