If you’re not entirely familiar with the feelings personally, perhaps you’ve met people who went completely bonkers when they feel in love. It might be a middle-aged man, who left his supportive and beautiful wife of 25 years for someone half her age. Or, it can be a smart and successful woman, who has her life together in every way but always fall for married guys, time after time. It appears that despite thoughtful discussions, concern, and care for their friends and family, these “crazies in love” almost seems to forget their senses, at least temporarily.
Let’s talk about a real incident here to give you some perspective. A friend of mine was in a relationship with a smart, beautiful and successful woman. For most people, this might sound like a perfect and dreamy romantic relationship, but apparently, their relationship was one big trauma.
The turmoil in the relationship began after she became sexually involved with another man. That didn’t stop him from getting married to her, thinking that his emotional health will deteriorate further if he broke up with her. Anyways, they had three kids in the marriage that lasted six years. He and his wife got divorced, and she initiated the divorce. The reason is quite evident; she got bored. Despite, all these messy parts of the whole relationship including the marriage and the divorce, and fully knowing the relationship will end badly; my friend still thinks he is in love with her.
Throughout history, the experience of being in love has always been compared with mental illness, which makes sense by looking at expressions such as crazy in love, madly in love, or lovesick. When we fall in love with somebody the feeling associated with being in love can be compared to the symptoms of certain mental disorders like obsessive desire, loss of reason, lack of self-control, and so forth. It’s common to find men and women becoming chronically obsessed with the experience of falling in love which is kind of similar to when people get addicted to drugs.
The reason that this happens that when we fall in love or attempt to make and maintain any human relationship or interaction, our brains get flooded by various biochemical that make us feel good. Some of the few the neurochemicals released while falling in love or when involved in social or romantic relationships are:
- Androgen and estrogen: responsible for sex drive.
- Testosterone: responsible for sex drive, monogamy, and paternal behaviors.
- Dopamine: responsible for attraction to others.
- Norepinephrine and Serotonin: responsible for well-being, predicting behavior and behavioral preparedness.
- Oxytocin and vasopressin: responsible for attachment, orgasm, and reducing anxiety.
- Endorphins: responsible for sexual arousal, sexual rewards, maternal behavior, playful or flirty behavior, etc.
Just looking at the list will make anyone feel incredibly good, and can even make some folks spin out of control when they fall in love. These “feel good” chemicals can have a powerful effect on our brains. We also respond differently to these chemicals when we fall in love. And, for some people, the effects can be overwhelming in which they will make irrational or wrong decisions.