Love- the most controversial and perhaps the most beautiful human emotion. love is what made Simran run after Raj like Milkha Singh reincarnated in DDLJ. Love is what made Jack sacrifice his life for Rose although both of them could have fit onto the same plank. Love is timeless. According to Shakespeare, its a smoke made with the fumes of sighs, a madness most discreet, a spirit all compact of fire.
Four centuries later, Erich Segal, author of Love Story, defined it as never having to say you’re sorry.
Oxford dictionary defines love as a strong feeling of affection and sexual attraction for someone.
A very cynical and nerdy friend of mine defines love as endorphin overload in our body.
Well, all definitions are true in a way.
We call it love. It feels like love. But the most wonderful of all human emotions is probably nature’s beautiful way of keeping the human species alive and reproducing.
With an irresistible cocktail of chemicals, our brain entices us to fall in love. We believe we’re choosing a partner. But we may merely be the happy victims of nature’s lovely plan. Like almost every other phenomenon, this complex feeling can also be expressed by science.Simply put, love is scientific.
Upon Googling, I found that love has 3 stages-
Stage 1- Physical attraction
Physical Attraction is driven by hormones estrogen and testosterone in females and males respectively. The release of both these hormones result in making you seem more attractive to the opposite sex and in turn, makes you literally obsess over the person.
Stage 2- Emotional Attraction
This is the amazing time when you are truly love-struck and can think of little else. Scientists think that three main neurotransmitters are involved in this stage; adrenaline, dopamine and serotonin.
Adrenaline is normally known as the flight or fight hormone
The initial stages of falling for someone activates your stress response, increasing your blood levels of adrenalin and cortisol. This has the charming effect that when you unexpectedly bump into your new love, you start to sweat, your heart races and your mouth goes dry.
Dopamine results in increased energy, less need for sleep or food, focused attention and exquisite delight in smallest details of this novel relationship. “My teddy is named Bruno. His pet name is Bruno. OMG! We are meant to be together.”
Finally, Serotonin. Ever wondered why the object of your affection occupies your thoughts all the time?
Well, you have your culprit.
Stage 3: Attachment
Attachment is the bond that keeps couples together long enough for them to have and raise children. Scientists think there might be one major hormone involved in this feeling of attachment; oxytocin
oxytocin is known as the cuddle hormone. It is that force that compels you to do mushy things like hold hands and cuddle and just be close to one another.
What is truly interesting is that Scientists also found evidence that love is a fundamental need, akin to hunger, thirst and sleep. The regions in the brain activated during hunger and thirst were similar to the pattern of brain activity found among those in love. Hence, it is indeed true that love and life are inextricably linked.
Interesting surveys have produced even more interesting results.
In the initial stages, Your need for sleep decreases by almost 20 percent, your appetite decreases by 17 percent and your self consciousness increases by a whopping 78%. you start thinking that your loved one is as handsome as Brad Pitt and George Clooney put together, as smart as an Einstein and Stephen Hawking hybrid and perfect in every possible way.
almost 11 hours of your waking 16 hours are spent thinking about the object of your affections, and almost all your actions subconsciously or consciously are dictated according to what your loved one would think or want. You start wearing more green, just because your loved one tells you that it suits you. He likes curly hair?you spend at least an hour in front of the mirror with a curling iron, perfecting those princessy ringlets. You start living every single dream, wish or expectation of your loved one.
Over the course of time, you start mellowing down and finally, in a whopping 57% of the cases, the initial burst just dies down, fizzes out and the sparks disappear. The relationship ends.
But, the romantic in me, the very teensy little part of me, would grudgingly accept that in the remaining 43%, 38% forged strong, emotionally secure life-long relations.
Before I conclude, I would like to tell you about this very interesting incident. New York psychologist, Arthur Arun, has been studying why people fall in love.
He asked his subjects to carry out the above 3 steps
Step 1-Find a complete stranger.
Step 2-Reveal to each other intimate details about your lives for 30 minutes
Step 3- stare deeply into each other’s eyes without talking for four minutes.
It was found that 72% of his subjects felt an intense attraction toward the stranger
34% of his subjects later married.
A wonderful quote beautifully sums up what love truly is like-“Love is a lot like a backache, it doesn’t show up on X-rays, but you know it’s there.” — George Burns