Love is the drug

OPINION BY KENNEDY COLTHERD

What is love. Is it even real?

Love is an emotion that seems to be so powerful it can take on anything. It is when two people so deeply care about each other that they are willing to do anything to protect them.

Sometimes you look for it in all the wrong places, and other times you’re not even looking for it and it shows up as strong and powerful as ever. With Valentine’s Day looming I asked myself is love even real? And if it is, how does it work?

Love has no limits.

According to Dr. Anne-Marie Helmenstine of the University of Tennessee, scientifically speaking there are a lot of chemicals that make up that love feeling. Phenylethylamine, also known as PEA is a natural chemical that is found in foods we enjoy but should only eat in moderation like chocolate. This chemical is responsible for the lovesick phase people experience at the beginning of a relationship.

Dr. Anne-Marie Hemelstine, University of Tennessee.

When PEA is released, your body also experiences changes such as a pounding heart and sometimes you even begin to sweat. Next, a chemical called oxytocin is released usually during physical contact. Oxytocin is commonly known as the “cuddle chemical”.

Do you ever get that feeling when you see your significant other and you just need them? You can’t explain it but you must be with them? Well, even though it is a male hormone, it can be found in females as well – this is when testosterone is released creating that rush of lust that you have been craving.

Finally and probably the most common bit of information is, that when you’re in love endorphins are also released. This is what keeps the relationship  exciting and usually the happy loving partnership it is. That “crazy about you” infatuation usually lasts roughly 18 months to four years. Which is quite a big variation.

Just because that phase of the relationship is over, doesn’t necessarily mean the relationship is doomed though. These endorphins are also released as a sign of comfort and have been known to reduce stress, let you or your partner feel less anxious and be able to get through painful situations easier.

The ‘honeymoon’ phase of a relationship can last anywhere from 18 months to four years.

That’s the scientific way, that’s what some people would look to as an explanation as to why they feel the way they do. It explains a lot. It gives you an idea as to why you feel the emotions and urges you do.

I like to think that love is something that can’t be explained.

Can’t be defined.

You can’t help when, who, where or why you fall in love. That’s why everyone wants it so badly, because it is something you can’t explain. It’s a “connection” to some people, it’s “meant to be” for others and it’s just a “chemical” for other people.

Whichever way you chose to look at it,  it’s your love story and there is no right or wrong way to do it. There is no explanation for love and it is real.

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