If there is one thing that defines love, it is the emotion that exists when two people make a commitment to each other and go through what most call the dating process. Love is also a group of behaviours and emotions characterized by intense passion, intimacy, dedication, caring, devotion, and trust in relationships. It entails emotional connection, caring, intimacy, loyalty, attachment, and trust in relationships.
Love can exist at different levels with varying levels of intimacy and commitment. At the most basic level of romantic love is purely physical attraction. At this point all that is required is for the physical attraction to be strong enough to cause hormones such as oxytocin and dopamine to be released into the brain. Once these hormones are released, the body creates a desire to find a partner and mate with as much chemistry as possible.
However, at a more advanced emotional level there may also be feelings of friendship and trust which may have been present from the early stages of development. At this stage love has formed a stronger bond and is forming a more definitive relationship between the two partners in the relationship. However, feelings of loyalty may still be present as the result of the love that was initially present. And finally there is the need for security in the form of a stable relationship.
In order to understand love, it is important to look at the functions of the brain. To start with love is a direct outcome of brain function. When you are in love with the functions of your midbrain that control emotion and social behaviour are temporarily activated and therefore your heart beats faster, you breathe heavily, you have an urge to connect emotionally, you may become more playful and are much more interested in what is happening around you. All of these behaviours are a direct result of the activities of your sub-conscious. The good thing about the function of the brain is that it is much more plastic than the conscious mind and therefore when you are in love with your brain stays much more active than the conscious mind which helps create all of these actions.
It has been studied that people who are in love tend to have larger levels of Dopamine than other people who are not in love. This is because the activity of the dopamine pathway that is found in the brain, increases during the states of love. However, when you are in a relationship the levels of dopamine decrease, which causes the slow down in behavior and emotions that lead to depression. So it would seem that the increased levels of Dopamine caused by being in love is directly related to feelings of love and the happier the state the more dopamine will be produced, which means that the relationship will be more enjoyable and therefore more passionate.
When you are in love you have a number of different love neurotransmitters which reach out and affect all the areas of your brain. When you are in love you will find that your brain will activate the following areas: the ventral tegmental area, which is located deep inside the brain and the amygdala, which are located above the cerebrum. These areas are then linked as they have a lot to do with the emotion and learning sections of the brain. The more love you experience the stronger your love neurotransmitters will be and therefore your relationship will become stronger. However, you need to remember that love does not last forever so one day you might lose your relationship and need to move on if you do not want to lose all the love you have generated.
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