Being in love: The dope factor
WHEN PEOPLE FALL IN LOVE it triggers events in the brain that are similar to mental illness (boy does that explain a lot). First our sex hormones are excited and awakened. Then dopamine—the same stuff that’s activated by cocaine—is released in the brain. Next comes adrenaline and a chemical called serotonin, which can actually drive us nuts. Before we know it, all this heart pounding, sweat pouring excitement leads to attachment. Then it wears off, and real life kicks in.
When you were in love you adored the way she laughed, but now that beautiful giggle sounds like nails on a blackboard. When you were in love the dirt under his nails was manly. Now you find it repulsive, you don’t want him to touch you, and you’re wondering if your relationship can make through the week.
After a few months (or sometimes years), those chemicals aren’t jumping off the way they used to, and things change. When you were in love you adored the way she laughed, but now that beautiful giggle sounds like nails on a blackboard. When you were in love the dirt under his nails was manly. Now you find it repulsive, you don’t want him to touch you, and you’re wondering if your relationship can make it through the week.
Whether or not we want to admit it, every relationship goes through this, because being “in love” is like a drug. The high only lasts for a little while. That inevitably leads to the line we’ve all said or heard: “I love you. I’m just not in love with you anymore.”
Sounds good, but here’s the problem. You’re never going to be permanently “in love” with anybody–not chemically, at least–because our brains just don’t work that way.
Being in love: The big question
So here’s the big question: How do you keep a relationship new once the chemicals disappear, the high wears off, and you wake up to realize that you’re no longer “in-love?” Or is the relationship even worth saving?
Inquiring minds want to know.
Photo © Canstock Photo
Solomon Jones is an Essence bestselling author and award-winning columnist. He is the creator and editor of Solomonjones.com. Click here to learn more about Solomon