Love Chemistry and the Symptoms of Being in Love:
Why do I Feel so High
when I am in Love?

Love chemistry is definitely chemistry! If you are wondering why you feel so high when you are in love, it is because different chemicals in the brain make you feel like you are on drugs. And you are!

While we still don't know exactly how the "falling in love" process starts between two people, it is now a fact that people in love produce a higher-than-normal level of chemicals. Some of those chemicals - called "neurotransmitters" - are dopamine, phenylethylamine and oxytocin.

Dopamine is often called the "pleasure chemical". It is the hormone that make lovers feel an erotic high when they see each other. Being a natural endorphin, it relaxes the body and kills pain. Other symptoms of love chemistry that are related to dopamine are dilated pupils, heart racing, slight perspiration, as well as euphoria and craving. It is thanks to dopamine that people find the energy - or impulse - to meet someone in the first place. Interestingly, high levels of dopamine are present in people suffering from obsessive-compulsive disorder. No wonder lovers are so focused on each other!

Another chemical released by the brain in love is phenylethylamine or PEA. Sometimes referred to as the "hormone of libido", PEA is a natural endorphin that makes people feel happy and attached, and that increases sex drive. It is present in large quantities in manic people. Again, if people in love appear a bit insane to others, it may be because they are!

Finally, oxytocin is labeled the "cuddling hormone". It is released by touch and during sexual experiences. It also decreases mental processes and impairs memory. This is why hugging and touching can help us recover from an argument. Thinking of someone we love can stimulate this hormone, as well as soft lights, heat and romantic music.

It is important to realize that the chemicals released by the brain in love act exactly like drugs. With time, the brain becomes more tolerant and the euphoric feeling slowly disappears. If the couple is truly in love, passionate love turns into a more committed love. If it was just infatuation, the couple breaks up.

My own research and experiences reveal that the effect of those chemicals lasts between six weeks and one year, three months being the more common turning point of a relationship. The "craziness" of love chemistry rarely lasts more than a year.

Sometimes, the release of neurotransmitters stops faster with one lover than with the other. Cindy is still "addicted", while Ian is already sober. If Ian realizes he is not in love, he may end the relationship, thus leaving Cindy totally devastated. Cindy is still addicted and needs the "erotic high" provided by Ian. Because of the breakup, she will go through withdrawal and suffer just like any drug addict, not because Ian is the love of her life.

So if you feel high when you are in love, blame it on love chemistry: you are addicted to all the drugs produced by your brain!

Now, why doesn't this feeling last forever?

The in-love feeling that comes from the increased production of chemicals (dopamine, PEA and oxytocin) brings an erotic high in the new lovers' brain.

As it is the case for any drug, the effect doesn't last forever. As the brain gets used to the "drugs", the euphoric feeling tends to fade quickly, usually within one year, often less, and is totally gone by the middle of the second year.

Unless the symptoms of being in love are replaced with real love, the relationship ends. Isn't this a great incentive to develop a real relationship?

love chemistry, lovers, being in love

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