Science says relationships are mostly like drug induced reactions of the brain that is in love. For centuries and evolution, the universal problem and equation that human beings have tried to solve is the mystery of romance and relationships. There have been crimes of passion, wars fought for love, glorified love, undying love. This intense physiological and biochemical reactions are all scientifically linked to various hormones and neurotransmitters that our brain releases when triggered, the main one being the reward centre of the brain.
We all are aware of dopamine which is released by the brain during positive experiences like unforgettable dates, flattery, amazing sex and grand romantic gestures. Dopamine is a neurotransmitter that controls the pleasure centre of our brains which creates reward circuits, which then generates automatic associations in our brain that link our romantic partners with pleasure and even our survival.
Dr. Helen Fisher discovered that this “frustration-attraction” experience of obstacles in a romantic relationship actually heightens our feelings of love, rather than hindering them. She discusses how the brains of those in adversity-ridden relationships become activated in an eerily similar way to the brains of cocaine addicts.
In other words? Our brains can become masochists, seeking the very people that hurt them.Then there is also oxytocin, named the ‘love’ or ‘cuddle’ hormone.This is the same hormone that bonds mother and child at birth, and it also bonds you with the men that are undeserving of you.
The oxytocin effect may also be stronger for women than for men; according to Susan Kuchinskas, author of the book, The Chemistry of Connection: How the Oxytocin Response Can Help You Find Trust, Intimacy and Love. According to Christopher Bergland, oxytocin, adrenaline and cortisol work together to consolidate and reconsolidate fear-based memories.
We can become addicted to this effect. Fear also releases dopamine, which again feeds those reward circuits in our brain, leaving us longing for that adrenaline rush. Fear and pleasure inevitably become intertwined despite our best efforts to expose and dismantle the seeming irrationality of our behaviour.
When we fall in love, we become obsessive like people with OCD, literally. Since serotonin regulates and stabilises mood, curbing obsessive thinking, you can imagine how low levels of serotonin we have, when we’re romantically involved with someone that can cause our decision-making abilities and judgment to go haywire. Low levels of serotonin also encourage sexual behaviour, so serotonin only makes it more likely that we’ll also be swept away by bonds created by oxytocin and dopamine as well.
Okay why am I talking science about relationships? You must be wondering so if you are in a relationship or going through a bad one, like you already haven’t heard enough.
The bottom line and fact of the matter is that if you dig deeper there is always always a rationality that lies beyond the irrational behaviour and impulses of the brain in love.
Last weekend, I was out at some three pubs with the Erasmus student group here in Istanbul. Everyone was enjoying, there was a good level of intoxication spreading like a wave through out the party, and literally everywhere my eyes went, I saw a pair of lips glued together. Now, of course I had my share of fun too, dancing with boys and engaging in random light banters, but when I sat back and thought about it, I realised how even after countless years of evolution humans across various continents and cultures will always act on their basic instincts. It’s like you are hungry or thirsty, the need to find that thrill and your brain wiring you to seek pleasure that comes with pumping in so much of “feel-good” factors in your system is really something.
Also, from a single girl’s point of view, even in a crowded night club with so many men and women at disposal, and the freedom to have any kind of night you want it to be, how scientific and practical are we when it comes to the concept of love and lust? Do we always act on our basic instincts to serve our purpose of a one night stand or is it simply the design of nature that amidst all this chaos, we might just be searching for the perfect mate. They say, love and lust are two factors that transcends every society in this world, how far have we come in accepting our wilderness within? How long would we deceptively play the hand of fate, on a night of attraction, orgasm and science? Think back, its all really scientific, there is no right or wrong, even at that pub, with total strangers or couples acting out their feelings and hormones, like it or not, no matter how emotionally cold turkey you might credit yourself for, every one is looking to let off steam sometime, in the most desirable manner that evolution has made us.
Ending on a poem by an anonymous Red Indian of Southern Alaska to a missionary in 1896,
“ Fire runs through my body with the pain of loving you,Pain runs through my body with the fires of my love for you,Pain like a boil about to burst with my love for you,Consumed by fire with my love for you,I remember what you said to me,I am thinking of your love for me,I am torn by our love for me,Pain and more pain,Where are you going with my love?I am told you will go from here,I am told you will leave me here,My body is numb with grief,Remember what I said my love,Goodbye my love, Goodbye.”
Dopamine your night away.
Written by Adhisa Ghosh
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