Biology of Love
Biology of Love
I love it, the biology of love starts in the brain.
However, this research into the biology of love, involving hormones, neurotransmitters and fMRI
analysis of brains has not made my marriage counseling any easier.
Some of my clients are so embedded in their resentments that they are not in the least interested in
understanding the biological road map of love, a road map that makes it easier for me as I think
about my marriage.
Now I have a clearer understanding of why my wife like touch so much. Both of us get a jolt of
oxytocin when we touch, which is the hormone/neurotransmitter associated with the feeling of
And I am also more aware of why John Gottman, Ph.D. speaks to why his Masters of Marriage
stay together and still more or less like each other, after decades of marriage.
I remember beginning my study of his video course, The Art and Science of Love, and being
taken aback by his statement that the Masters of Marriage are the folks who after many years
together are the couples who "more or less like one another and want to stay together".
Doesn't sound all that inspiring, right?
Turns out that biologically, that is what we are supposed to have happen, that we are content, and
want to stay together.
In light of current biological research, it seems that the phrase "madly in love" is not merely a
metaphor. There is ample evidence to suggest that falling in love is physiologically similar to
mental illness. Disorders like OCD are associated with an imbalance of serotonin, and when
studied, researchers discovered that both obsessives and lovers had serotonin levels 40% below
So why is it that we often recover from the illness of love? Biologically speaking, the reasons
romantic love fades may be found in the way our brains respond to the surge and pulse of
dopamine that accompanies passions and gets us high. In the right proportions, dopamine creates
intense energy, exhilaration, and focused attention, which is why, when y