Love is Blind? And Other Things It Does to our Bodies

OK, so it's Valentine's Day soon.  So let's talk about falling in love, and what it does to you physically.

"Falling in love causes our body to release a flood of feel-good chemicals that trigger specific physical reactions," said Pat Mumby, PhD, co-director of the Loyola Sexual Wellness Clinic and professor, Department of Psychiatry & Behavioral Neurosciences, Loyola University Chicago Stritch School of Medicine (SSOM) at "This internal elixir of love is responsible for making our cheeks flush, our palms sweat and our hearts race."

Levels of these substances, which include dopamine, adrenaline and norepinephrine, increase when two people fall in love. Dopamine creates feelings of euphoria while adrenaline and norepinephrine are responsible for the pitter-patter of the heart, and Otherrestlessness and overall preoccupation that go along with experiencing love. MRI scans indicate that love lights up the pleasure center of the brain. 
But it's not all wine and roses, say researchers.  "The phrase 'love is blind' is a valid notion because we tend to idealize our partner and see only things that we want to see in the early stages of the relationship," Dr. Mumby said. "Outsiders may have a much more objective and rational perspective on the partnership than the two people involved do."
I know when I was dating men in serious relationships, my father found something wrong with every one of them.  He definitely thought love was blind in my case.  (He would up being right two out of three times. Thank goodness he eventually came around on my husband!)
There are three phases to a love affair, scientists say.  The first, lust, affects our hormones.  In the second phase, attraction, blood flow to the pleasure center of the brain happens, when we feel an overwhelming fixation with our partner. "This behavior fades during the attachment phase, when the body develops a tolerance to the pleasure stimulants," newswise notes. "Endorphins and hormones vasopressin and oxytocin also flood the body at this point creating an overall sense of well-being and security that is conducive to a lasting relationship."


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