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.