They don’t call love a drug for nothing. When we fall for someone, our brains release a cocktail of chemicals, creating feelings of euphoria and pleasure and (if all goes well) closeness and comfort. That complex organ inside our head is hardwired to want love and keep love at all costs—a response that has been crucial to the survival of our species.
Curious what that hardwiring looks like? Here’s what happens in your brain at six stages of romantic love.
1. First attraction: Call me maybe*
Say you develop a crush on your neighbor. Every time you think about this person, you feel giddy—you feel really good. What’s happening? The neurons in your brain are releasing dopamine, a feel-good hormone and neurotransmitter associated with euphoria (as well as gambling and drug addiction). And because your brain wants you to keep pursuing this feeling, like a little love-carrot, it fires off more
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