As growing young adults, we are subconsciously looking for good-looking people to reproduce with. For instance, when men have deep voices, they tend to be more attractive. So why do we feel these certain things? Is there really chemistry behind the love that we encounter?
Researchers have determined that there is. As far as our genes are concerned, our sole job on this earth is to conceive offspring, bring them to adulthood, and then go through the process of death so that we do not take away their resources. However, it is much more than that.
First, we will start with what attracts one person to another. Believe it or not, the main thing we look for is scent. Even though we do not do this consciously, our brains tell us that someone is attractive based on their pheromones, or scent-signaling chemicals. Other important factors include the way a partner looks and sounds. But what really strikes a chemical shift is a sealed kiss. A kiss is an exchange of postural, physical and chemical information, and can say a lot about the connection between two people.
Since the early 2000s, there have been studies done by looking at functional magnetic resonance imagers to reveal that the sensation of romance is processed in three areas. One, is a part of the brain called the ventral segmental, which is the body’s central refinery for dopamine. This is the part that regulates reward. In romantic love, it has been found that it is a reward system more than actual emotions.
Next, there is the nucleus accumbens, which turns the exhilaration of a partner into obsession. This includes not just dopamine, but also serotonin and oxytocin.
And, finally, we reach the caudate nuclei, which is a pair of structures on either side of the head. It is here that patterns and habits are stored. It allows a simple passion for love to turn into a long-time commitment.
The difference between a partner and friends is emotional, but actually only known by the subjects in love themselves. This is because it is such a complex emotion, and the feeling of happiness is exhibited in both situations. When looking at romantic love, there is exhilaration, desire, and many other emotions that cannot be isolated to one section of the brain, which is why this remains an unsolved mystery.
Love is a very relatable topic for everyone, because we all experience it in different forms. Some say that the only type of love is romantic love, but this is not true. There is love within a family and between friends, and from love, we begin to find our own happiness.