I was going to write an entire post on the biology and psychology of love, but I realized many have already done so and several have collected/written great books on the subjects. There are even videos. So, instead of adding my less-than-expert two cents’ worth, I compiled what I believe to be the best of these and guide you to them, here.
If you, as I do, feel mystified, bamboozled, defeated and enraptured in our lives by love, you WILL find answers, explanations, reasons and perhaps excuses in these researchers’ contributions to the subject. You can find ideas that help you choose better (or refrain from choosing) when deciding how to proceed in your relationship life.
You will not, however, get that person to love you, find a way to get over a broken heart any faster, or make yourself more lovable by reading these books. In fact, if you do read/review all of this material, you’ll probably be a royal pain in most people’s behinds as you quote from them. But, so what? Would you rather be informed or falsely loved?
Okay, okay: that’s a false choice. So, read away, but don’t spout too much from your research.
image from http://twistales.com
Here is the selection, numbered but not in any priority order:
1. Molecules of Emotion:The Scientific Basis Behind Mind-Body Medicine, the late Candace Pert, Ph.D., pharmacologist and biologist
2. A General Theory of Love, Thomas Lewis, Ph.D., Fari Amini, Ph.D. and Richard Lannon, Ph.D., psychologists
3. Falling in Love: Why We Choose the Lovers We Choose, social psychologist and researcher, Ayala Malach Pines
4. Why We Love: The Nature and Chemistry of Romantic Love, biological anthropologist, Helen Fisher
5. Biology of the Mind: Helen Fisher, Ph.D., biologist, video from TEDxEast
6. Why We Love: 5 Books on the Psychology of Love by Maria Popova, including some of the above with more info about them, on:
7. The Science of Love, from Your Amazing Brain‘s site
In case you thought falling in love was so special, check this out, from the above article: “York psychologist, Professor Arthur Arun, has been studying why people fall in love. He asked his subjects to carry out the[se] 3 steps and found that many of his couples felt deeply attracted after the 34-minute experiment [below]. Two of his subjects later got married.”
how to fall in love:
- Find a complete stranger.
- Reveal to each other intimate details about your lives for half an hour.
- Then, stare deeply into each other’s eyes without talking for four minutes.
Dr Donatella Marazziti, a psychiatrist at the University of Pisa advertised for twenty couples who’d been madly in love for less than six months. She wanted to see if the brain mechanisms that cause you to constantly think about your lover, were related to the brain mechanisms of Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder.
By analysing blood samples from the lovers, Dr Marazitti discovered that serotonin levels of new lovers were equivalent to the low serotonin levels of Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder [OCD] patients.
8. What Is Romantic Love? on The Anatomy of Love site:
Providing this list of usual “symptoms” of “falling in love” makes one wonder why ANYONE would want to do so and why, once we do, we aren’t immediately taking psychotropic medications to help us get over it!
Behavioral traits of early stage romantic love:
- Special meaning: the romantic partner is the center of the world, and you like anything they like
- Intense energy and it’s hard to sleep
- Loss of appetite
- Mood swings
- Separation anxiety
- Intense motivation for emotional union
- Intrusive thinking
Sure; fall in love. Just don’t get too attached….