Oh, how sweet true love is. As I watch the Royal Wedding of Meghan Markle to Prince Harry, and get ready to attend another “royal wedding” of two lovebirds tonight, I have love on the brain, as Rihanna would say.
What makes love so special is the mysteriousness of it. Why do we feel love? We can’t quite pinpoint it with a science; I would say that love is more of an art. Love isn’t objective — though I believe love to be the objective and ultimate goal of living life. No, I see love as subjective — the thing that makes love so great is finding someone who feels the way that you do, has coinciding morals and values, otherwise we would all fall for the same people! Yes, the thing that makes love great is the art of finding the person that is the last puzzle piece to your jigsaw of life.
I believe in the science of love’s lusty needs, impulses, and desire to be in a conventional healthy and happy relationship. Though, what I also believe is that there is more to it than we understand; a part of our brain that we haven’t fully tapped into understanding just yet. And to be honest, I hope we never do! It makes love exciting and exhilarating.
So what do we know about TRUE.LOVE!? What can we deduce and explain with science, and what can we leave to inexplicable heavenly forces at work?
The love formula
Does love, actually, have a formula? Can we pinpoint a process of love? According to research led by Rutgers scientists, the short answer is yes.
Love follows a formulaic process in the form of hormones released to the brain as you fall in love. The three steps in the process are defined by Lust, Attraction, and Attachment.
Lust is actually testosterone and estrogen driving the biological force behind why we feel “love” in the first place. Love at first sight may be these basic needs at work: hormonal and evolutionary “Me Tarzan. You Jane.” type feelings.
Attraction comes next after the basic need of Lust. Here, we see a release of the “happy” hormones: dopamine, serotonin, and norepinephrine. These hormones will release when you start to feel joy around your partner. After all, they are the hormones keeping you from feeling depressed (in cases of depression, you need SSRIs and other antidepressants to provide this hormone release). And elation and elevated feelings ensue in the form of Attraction.
Finally, there is Attachment. The hormones associated with Attachment are oxytocin and vasopressin. These are hormones that create a habitually good feeling that you biologically seek; in the case of love, it is an attachment to your sweetheart. You want to be around them as often as possible. And so, Attachment follows.
However, I am not completely sold on TRUE.LOVE! being purely a science.
Who wrote the book of love?
If you are a God-fearing follower of a religion, you may see all the science behind love as a bunch of hootenanny. And I have to agree with you there. I believe there is a greater reason for why we fall in love and stay with our partners. How could it all be scientifically explained away as coincidence?
In a world of chaos and entropy, I think finding your TRUE.LOVE! is the driving reason why we go on living, growing, and succeeding as a society. I joke about following Pythagoreanism and the presence of a mathematical pattern to the meaning of life: for instance, why do we see Fibonacci so prevalent in nature? I also see the beauty in love being disorderly, fantastic, and yet, greater than us. There is a beautiful unknown to love.
I think our brains contain the answer to the age old question, why do we fall in love? The thing is, we may have millions, or even billions of years before we use our entire brain function and solve the problem. For now, I relish in the thrill and fun of not knowing why we fall in love.
I hope you do, too.
Let us always meet each other with smile, for the smile is the beginning of love — Mother Teresa