research

Love, Actually: The science behind love, attraction, and intimacy

We love this blog post by Katherine Wu. It clearly outlines the neurobiology of love (in as much as we can understand it scientifically) with easy to understand graphics. Broadly we can understand lust, driven by testosterone, as the drive for sex. Attraction is based in the brain’s reward system, associated with the release of dopamine and norepinephrine that make us feel energetic and excited. When dopamine levels rise beyond a threshold it has the same addictive quality as cocaine, causing some to act recklessly (we can probably all identify at some level). Another pitfall of being in love is the deactivation of neural pathways that help us make judgments about others, hence “love is blind.” We fall in love blind, dumb, and addicted but hopefully emerge with a more stable attachment based relationship.

Katherine Wu

Love, Actually: The science behind love, attraction, and intimacy

Fall In Love With Anyone Do This

Is it possible to create the feeling of falling in love? Psychologist Arthur Aron thought so. He developed an experiment in which he had heterosexual strangers pair off and ask one another 36 questions and then stare into each other’s eyes for 4 minutes. Six months later, two pairs of those subjects got married and invited the lab to their weddings. Len Catron describes her own recreation of this experiment with an acquaintance of hers, with whom she was mildly romantically interested in. The questions are intended to really see person, both literally and metaphorically. The result? She fell in love of course!

 Mandy Len Catron

Fall In Love With Anyone Do This

The Science of Heartbreak

Alone and in pain, heartbreak can take us to a depth of despair we didn’t know was possible. If you’re a heartbroken dude this article won’t take the pain away, but it will hopefully help you understand your symptoms and provide you hope. This article illuminates why those feelings make scientific sense and the course you can expect them to take. It’s written for straight men but the takeaways are useful for anyone. After a breakup don’t do things that make you feel out of control. If you're heartbroken there will be grief and sadness to work through and accepting that is the first step to mending a broken heart. On average, heartbreak lasts about 3 months. During heartbreak spend time with people you love and remember to be kind to yourself.

Jim Thornton

The Science of Heartbreak