Many say love hurts, but does it really? As studies have shown, it actually does hurt. It hurts our brain more than we think.
Studies have shown that people who are happily in love and people and cocaine users have something in common. The fact that the same region of the brain that becomes active for cocaine users also becomes active for the people who are happily in love.
So, what is love really? I think that we will never know. Everyone experiences love in a different way. For some, love is sweet and magical and for others, bitter and painful.
As described by Fisher during one of her TED Talks, “… Romantic love is more than a cocaine high. At least you come down from cocaine! Romantic love is an obsession. It possesses you. You lose your sense of self. You can’t stop thinking about another human being. Somebody is camping in your head.” This is a great example of what love is, it is an addiction and something that we want all the time.
Fisher and her team did some research and ran MRI scans on people in love and people who had recently been dumped in order to try and discover what the chemical activity in the brain is. They found activity in three brain regions. One of those regions is the one which is activated in intense romantic love. This tends to be a good region for there to be activity because is releases chemicals which make us happy. However, if you are trying to get over a past lover this region makes it very hard for you to forget about them. The second region where there was activity found was the area in the brain which helps you calculate the gains and losses. The last region of the brain where there seems to be activity is the one with deep attachment. This makes it just so hard for us to forget about someone when we want to.
These three regions to the brain activated can be bad news to us because it means that instead of trying to forget about that person you become more obsessed with the idea of them and end up loving them even more. Another interesting factor is that those regions of the brain become more active when you can’t get what you want.
The good news is that, people who are in long term relationships don’t need to worry about whether the love you feel for your partner is still there even after twenty-five years because all of those regions still become activated.
From an anthropological kind of view, Love is universal and no matter what culture you come from or economic status it still has the same effects on us. We always tend to believe that every culture is different and that we all have different beliefs. But, when it comes to love we are all the same. We share the same beliefs and the same kind of pain.