So you have a new crush. You can’t sleep, you can’t eat, your palms are getting sweaty, and your face is getting red just thinking about them. In fact, you just can’t get them out of your head!
There is a reason behind everything you’re feeling and the weird ways your body is reacting, including why you can’t get over them, and we break them all down for you.
The First Stage Is Lust, Proceed With Caution
Like in many other mammals, this stage is driven by the sex hormones estrogen for women and testosterone for men according to anthropologist Helen Fisher. During this stage, you want to seduce them or be seduced. The mystery of still not fully knowing the person makes it all feel more intense and exciting.
The Second Stage Is Attraction, You Can Still Get Out
This is when you start to feel euphoric, and your brain panics and releases dopamine (creating pleasurable feelings), mixed with adrenaline (provoking the flight-or-flight response), and a little bit of norepinephrine (alertness).
The Final Stage Is Attachment, Now You’re Stuck
Once the dopamine and norepinephrine pass, they are replaced with oxytocin, which is known as the “cuddle hormone.” This is what makes you feel bonded to your crush and ready to plan a future together.
Their Smell Is The Reason Why You Can’t Help But Steal Their Sweater
We all gravitate toward our own special someone through a set of chemicals called “pheromones.” They linger on the outside of our body through sweat and bodily functions. Women subconsciously associate the smell with mating and the genes of their future babies. It’s like a superpower that helps filter disease-resistance genes that complement their own.
You Only Have Four Minutes To Make An Impression
Really, it can take as little as 90 seconds and up to four minutes to decide if we like someone. The breakdown of it goes like this: 55% is through body language, 38% is the tone and speed of our voice, and just 7% is through what we say.
Love Throws Good Judgment Out The Window
It’s a primitive instinct for the brain to make excuses for the behavior of someone we love. When you’re in love, your brain will go as far as suppressing the instinct to make good and critical judgments for your future.
Don’t Worry, You Will Go Back To Normal Eventually
And by “eventually,” we mean a whole year later. Time is the only recipe for getting over someone. In fact, people who are running after someone they lost or want will find it harder to let go than people who’ve moved on and are in other relationships, as these people have greater brain activity.
You Could Try Trading Painkillers In For Cuddling
Cuddling triggers the same neurological reaction as taking painkillers. Cuddling lowers your blood pressure and releases oxytocin, which helps block pain signals. If you’re starting to get a cold, more cuddling may even prevent symptoms from getting worse.
Doing Cocaine Shows The Same Neurological Effects As Falling In Love
Dr. Helen Fisher puts it best: When you fall in love, “exactly the same system becomes active as when you take cocaine. You can feel intense elation when you’re in love. You can feel intense elation when you’re high on cocaine.” Basically, the more dopamine goes to your brain, the higher you feel, just like with drugs.
Romantic And Sexual Love Are Not The Same
Feelings are hard to control. You can turn off a sexual urge, but it’s very hard to turn off romantic love. In the name of love, people will find themselves stalking or even going into an intense clinical depression.
You Can Try To Fight Love, But It’s Biological
Just like the need for food and water, the urge to fall in love is primitive. In Helen Fisher’s words, “I had long thought that romantic love was an emotion. Now I think it’s a drive—as important as the maternal instinct or the sex drive. It comes from the parts of the brain associated with motivation.”
Run Away From Dopamine, Literarly
Since love is basically an addiction, you can trick your brain by releasing the same chemicals into it through exercise. Running, for example, increases dopamine, while social interaction will give you the fix of oxytocin you’re craving. It’s like replacing one drug source with another.
Heartache Can Cause Physical Pain
The reason that it feels like your chest is closing up and like you can’t breathe is that heartache can increase activity in the vagus nerve, a nerve that starts in the brain and connects to the neck, chest, and abdomen. When it’s overstimulated, it can cause pain and nausea.
Kissing Decreases Stress Overtime
Kissing has been shown to lower levels of the stress hormone cortisol more and more over time. So basically, the longer the relationship, the bigger the decline in stress. Kissing also triggers oxytocin.
There Is A Reason We Close Our Eyes
There Are Lots Of Animals That Are Naturally Monogomaus
Even in nature, a few animals choose to pair with just one animal to raise their offspring in what we know as monogamy. For animals, this could mean just for the mating season or for a lifetime. Some of these animals include swans, penguins, and wolves.
Adrenaline: Falling For Someone Is Like Going On A Diet
During a flight-or-fight response, your heart beats faster, too, and more oxygen reaches your brain. This all a product of the neurotransmitters epinephrine and norepinephrine, which make your cheeks feel flushed and your palms all sweaty.
Serotonin: You’re Not A Crazy Stalker, You Just Like Them A lot
Scientists think serotonin decreases at the second and third stages, but low levels of serotonin are also found in obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD). This chemical makes you associate your crush with positive emotions and causes you to think about them non-stop.
Dopamine: The Reason You Can’t Stop Gushing About Your Crush
The more dopamine you feel, the more you feel motivated by having your crush as your goal. This is how people end up creating fantasies around their crush, especially if they can’t have them. Dopamine is the feeling of novelty that causes your crush to feel special, exciting, and unique to you.
Oxytocin: The Reason You Can’t Keep Your Hands To Yourself Around Them
Once the honeymoon period is over, oxytocin is what keeps the relationship alive as the “cuddle hormone.” It bonds two people with trust, relaxation and overall psychological stability.