It has been said that love is something that cannot be easily defined and that the heart wants what the heart wants. Statements such as these make it seem like the realm of romance and love is completely void of science and fact, but it is not. In fact, science makes up the entirety of what we have come to know as falling in love.
What do I mean? Well for one thing, the reason people kiss each other is because they are tasting each other for genetic compatibility and to quickly determine a person’s level of personal oral health.
That’s right. The desire you have to kiss a potential partner is your body wanting to figure out right off the bat if you two would be genetically compatible to produce a healthy child.
And what about when you find a people with an accent that is different from your own or the ones you grew up around? People tend to like accents because they are a signal to our brains that the other person comes from a different enough genetic pool that any potential offspring would be more likely to be healthy because there is less likelihood of any potential inbreeding based on location.
But that’s only two examples. Surely when it comes to the actual feeling of falling in love, that is actually more romantic. Not exactly; it is still science.
When you begin to fall in love there is strong activity seen in the part of the brain associated with responding to addictive behavior. Your serotonin, a.k.a. the chemical your brain produces that makes you feel happy, increase and drops by 40% when you are not around the person you are in love with and you start to crave being with that person like you need to get your next fix of a drug.
This increase of feel-good chemicals by your body also makes the parts of your brain that are connected to social assessment and negative emotion more dormant and dulls your critical judgment which is why you tend to overlook any flaws in the person you are falling for. Essentially your brain is brainwashing itself to be in love.
When you look back on any of your past relationships and wonder what you were thinking being with that person, you can blame your brain and human biology. They’re truly responsible for the output of chemicals that made you fall head over heels with that person and ignore any of their flaws and problems so you could potentially procreate with the person.
Does that mean love is not real? Is it all just an illusion to ensure that the human race continues? No.
Just because science determines why we are attracted to certain people or do certain things when we like someone does not mean love is not real. Honestly, romance being biological makes a lot more sense than the idea of waiting around and hoping Cupid with fly by and shoot you with an arrow. Think about it.
Story By: Carlee Jo Blumenthal
Photo: Robina Weermeijier on Unsplash