Love is a romantic notion, often misunderstood. Many people incorrectly believe that love is an emotion or a state of mind. It is really a combination of many positive emotions, such as excitement, love, commitment, intimacy, trust, and caring. Love can range from mild to extreme, usually reflecting your personal experience of love. It is related to a variety of positive emotional states, such as happiness, excitement, vitality, and joy, but it can equally vary widely in intensity.
Oxytocin is the neurotransmitter found in the human brain that provides the basis for love. Oxytocin is released when a person bonds with another person. Oxytocin creates an effect on the brain receptors to reduce pain, increase memory and learning, and decreases depression and addiction. Although love makes the world go round, it doesn’t stop there. The bond created by oxytocin creates a chemical reaction in the brain, allowing connections between neurons to strengthen, creating a sort of “fusion” of the brain.
As the result of this intense form of bonding, a number of very real, important physiological and psychological feelings occur. When you become deeply in love with another person, your heart beats faster, blood flows more freely, you experience nausea and excitement similar to those involved in sexual relations, you dream about another person and hear their voice, you have stronger emotions relating to the other person at the present moment, you have greater trust of the other person, and you enjoy the company of the other person. Oxytocin creates a sort of synergy between your body and your mind which creates feelings of euphoria. These feelings provide the foundation for romantic love.
If you think that lust is the same thing as love then you are very wrong. Love and lust are completely different entities and they don’t ever evolve from one into the other. Lust can be considered as an inferior type of love which exists only in the mind of the person involved and does not have any substance underlying it. On the other hand, real love which is the basis of a healthy relationship is far deeper and stronger than just a desire to have sex.
So if love and lust are not the same thing, then how can people who are in relationships be sure that they are in love? There is no way you can know whether you are in love by just looking at each other or by having sex. True love comes on the basis of a strong biological drive which often stems out of an earlier emotional bonding. However, love and lust can also be caused by neurological factors. Scientists have found that some people’s brains respond in a manner similar to that of love, while others respond in a manner similar to that of lust.
In any case, there is always going to be some connection between your brain and your body, even if those connections do not necessarily allow you to experience love and lust. In fact, you might be surprised to know that the most commonly medicated drug on the market, oxytocin, is actually a vasodilator which essentially increases blood flow to the genitals. The rise in oxytocin can lead to an increase in feelings of affection towards others and an increase in the’reward chemicals’ released in the brain. These are essentially the biological reasons behind the ‘chemistry’ of love and it is through understanding these that relationship experts try to help couples overcome problems such as infidelity.