7 Signs You’re Falling In Love
As Albert Einstein once said, “you can’t blame gravity for falling in love.” And it’s true – love often creeps up on us in the most unexpected and powerful ways. But for a lot of us, it can be hard to distinguish between falling in love and falling in lust. So how can we tell?
“When we fall in love, there’s a cascade of physiological responses and it is difficult to predict when and in what order they will occur,” explains Clinical Neuropsychologist and expert in brain function and behaviour Dr Ash Nayate. “Lust hormones as well as feel-good neurotransmitters are released in the brain and are responsible for all sorts of changes from mood, social behaviour and sleep patterns.”
Here are some of the strange signs your body shows when falling in love.
You struggle to remember simple things
High levels of the love hormone oxytocin have been observed in couples in the first six months of a relationship, which increases romantic attachment, empathy, trust and bonding. The downside is that oxytocin can impair memory, meaning it might be difficult to remember simple things.
You feel awkward around them
Struggling to get your words out, a pounding heart and behaving awkwardly are all symptoms of falling in love. Those stress hormones and adrenaline can turn you into a nervous weirdo. More specifically, researchers believe hormone norepinephrine is the culprit, which is the ‘fight or flight’ hormone released by dopamine – the pleasure hormone.
You’re a sweaty mess
Norepinephrine is also what gets you all hot and bothered, firing up your sweat glands and making your mouth as dry as the outback! It could be worse for men though – according to Rutgers University researchers, men’s bodies produce more norepinephrine because they’re more visually stimulated.
You can’t stop thinking about them
Just can’t get them out of your head? This happens because the levels of serotonin in your brain drop, causing you to focus almost entirely on your date. Serotonin is what evens out your mood and has also been found in low levels in people with OCD tendencies. So in other words, your crush becomes a compulsive thought that you just can’t seem to get away from.
Your judgement goes out the window
There is some truth to old adage ‘Love is blind’. Researchers have found that areas of the brain associated with making analyses and judgements show less activity when you’re falling in love. This means we tend to blur out our partner’s faults, magnify their good points and believe we’re in the ultimate relationship in the early stages of attraction.
They smell incredible
Studies show that humans are capable of sniffing out certain parts of our potential partners’ DNA that make up their immune system, called major histocompatibility genes (MHC), to determine whom we’re compatible with. We tend to be drawn to people whose MHC compositions are different from ours so that the immune system of our offspring is as strong as possible.
You feel high from kissing them
A passionate smooch releases a surge of neurotransmitters and hormones including dopamine, serotonin, phenylethylamine and norepinephrine. This chemical cocktail and in particular the rush of dopamine, increases attraction, and sends us into a euphoric (and slightly obsessive) high.
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