Let’s talk about love on the brain or, more correctly, in the brain. There is a school of thought that says that love is nothing more than neurotransmitters flooding your brain with happy juice with a side of neurosis.
Paul says: Before we launch into the chemistry of love, I need you to know that I have a BS in Physics and a long standing philosophy that, just because I can analyze something, doesn’t mean that I am any less enamored with the phenomenon. I’ve always felt that, by understanding the mathematics of the universe, God has blessed me with a little of His secrets. So, that being said, the brain chemicals of love are the same as those that a crack whore has in her head.
Lee says: Isn’t he romantic? I’m a lucky lady. Honey, tell me more about my crack whore brain!
Paul continues: OK. I will. Imagine walking into a party and standing across the room is your soon to be love-of-your-life. Or you can imagine taking a solid pull from a crack pipe. It doesn’t matter. It’s all the same. The dopamine receptors of your brain light up and you get these wonderful feeling of contentedness because dopamine is the chemical that tells your brain that you have just been rewarded. Your brain tells you that you just got something good and, of course, from that moment on you want it all the time.
Then comes the norepinephrine, a stimulant. Your heart races, your cheeks flush and your muscles tingle with love. And you are aroused because this is the neurochemical of lust. Oddly enough, if an oversized wolf with glowing red eyes jumped into the middle of the room, you would have the same neurochemical response.
Of course, when these two chemical friends wear off, you find yourself in a bathroom with panties in one hand and a crack pipe in the other.
Lee continues: Human beings are wired for the high. We seek out excitement, some of us to absurd lengths. Achieving the rush of adrenaline is the goal for most people actually. So when we talk about being in love with someone after a few weeks of knowing them, what they are really talking about is lust. Their brain is firing up a storm which makes them single minded for their new drug.
Of course, then we confound all of this with sex. We have an orgasm (hopefully) and it exacerbates and clouds the relationship even more. No, I’m not saying this is a bad thing. Frankly, if we didn’t have this, we would all just live alone with the occasional hook up. But the problem with all of this is that it’s temporary. This perfect system was created so we would bond and mate. It is better for society for people to form lasting relationships and raise their children together. Sociobiologically speaking, parents investing in their offspring are a way of creating a more resilient human being and ultimately better children in the future.
The problem lies that we are so enamored by the chemical high, we forget to create a deeper connection; an emotional bond based on mutual respect, curiosity and deep friendship. Seriously, if your swimming in a euphoric state that feels like a pleasant orgasm for a couple of months, how many people take the time to ask about their partners likes, past and whether they feel that Kanye West actually speaks for a generation. This is what a relationship is based on. When the high is gone will you look at this person and wonder WTF? Or will you be fascinated by this person and commit yourself to finding out more. Warning: don’t answer that until you are sober again.