Love is a mysterious phenomenon and has been heavily studied in scientific and psychological circles. The reasons people fall in love are as unique as the person making the statement. The scientific reasons however, fall into three broad categories. The biological component of the emotional response. The effects of your upbringing on your choice of long term partner and the context you find yourself in where your two personalities mesh together. The more compatible your personalities and the more inline your beliefs and values the more likely your emotions will stimulate a biological response that reinforces the budding feelings you already have.
Here are 12 psychological reasons people fall in love.
Release Of Dopamine
The release of dopamine during the early stages of a relationship can cause feelings of happiness or excitement. Dopamine makes us feel good by stimulating certain parts of the brain. It also causes changes in other organs to include sweating and heightened senses. Things seem more colorful and vibrant or perhaps you sweat more during encounters with the object of your affection.
Release Of Testosterone
Testosterone is also released when love is new causing an increase in aggressive behavior and may push a person into pursuing the person they have feelings for. Testosterone also increases sexual desire and encourages men to take risks like approaching that very attractive woman across the room.
Norepinephrine is a neurotransmitter in your brain that helps to focus your attention. It helps you remember those small details about the person you are pursuing a relationship with. It is also a stimulant and can lead to sleepless nights.
phenylethylamine (PEA) is another neurotransmitter that causes feelings of giddiness in your brain. It can also cause a loss of appetite and may be responsible for the feeling of depression if the relationship doesn’t last.
These are chemicals that we emit, along with most other mammals and some insects, that can effect the behavior or feelings of other people near us. Our pheromones act outside our body and can change or elicit behavior from someone in close physical proximity to us or who is wearing our clothing. There is a reason women like wearing their partner’s shirt, the pheromones lodged in the shirt makes them feel something.
Your brain is equipped with a reward system that affects the rest of the body and the body’s stimulation can lead to feelings of satisfaction and happiness within the brain. The brain uses chemicals to reward the stimulation of the body which in turn sends back its own messages to fuel a positive feedback loop. But it isn’t just the presence of actual stimulation that can fuel the feedback loop but also anticipation of stimulation can cause the brain’s reward system to kick in.
The early part of your life teaches you about relationships in general. What to expect from them. How to maintain them. It also teaches you your role in the relationship. These early relationships and how they evolve can effect who you fall in love with and why. If you had domineering parents it might lead you to fall for someone who is like that because that is what you know and have known since childhood.
Parent’s Age at Birth
We respond better to people who are in a similar age range to our parents when we were born. So if we are born to older parents we will respond better to the facial cues in faces older faces. Men respond better to female faces that are in the same age range as their mother when they were born.
Look Like Our Parents
We are attracted to people who look like (same hair and eye color) as our opposite sex parents. So men with blonde haired and blue eyed mothers will tend to fall for women with blond hair and blue eyes.
“The Three Tiers”
The psychologist Eric Berne argues that people connect along three tiers; The Parent, the Child and the Adult. The Parent is what you have been taught and centers around your beliefs and values. The Child is what you have felt and centers around how much you enjoy playing, having fun and enjoying each other’s company. The Adult is what you have learned and centers around how intelligent or capable you thing your partner is. People who connect along each tier are more likely to have long and fulfilling relationships.
How Attentive We Are
Everyone elicits small bids for their partner’s attention throughout the day. How we respond to that bid for attention either by turning toward our partner or away from them can be an indicator of how long you will stay together. By satisfying each others need for attention we are reinforcing our bold with each other. When you ignore your partner it interrupts the brain’s feedback loop of happiness.
A study showed that people who are more attractive tend to be much harsher in their judgment of the attractiveness of others. The study also showed that most people tend to date other people who are equally attractive. The most attractive people tend to be less satisfied with their dates than the average person. People tend to fall for people who fall into the same level of attractiveness as their partner.
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