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What happens in your brain when you're in love

When you're in love

When humans fall in love, their bodies are actively producing feel-good hormones and preventing the release of negative hormones.

When this process suddenly stops, the "withdrawal" felt can be extremely difficult to process both on an emotional and physiological level.

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What happens in your brain when you're in love

What happens in your brain when you're in love

https://bigthink.com/sex-relationships/breakup-neuroscience

bigthink.com

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Key Ideas

When you're in love

When humans fall in love, their bodies are actively producing feel-good hormones and preventing the release of negative hormones.

When this process suddenly stops, the "withdrawal" felt can be extremely difficult to process both on an emotional and physiological level.

Going through a breakup

Heartbreak is a form of grief and loss that can cause serious issues with insomnia, anxiety and depression.

The pain we feel during heartbreak is similar to the physical pain we feel due to a severe burn on a broken arm.

Healing from a breakup

  • Visual reminders are likely to create dopamine surges in your brain that relate to feelings of craving and withdrawal.
  • Replace those surges of dopamine by taking a fitness class. Exercise can also release endorphins that trigger positive feelings.
  • Find a "new normal".
  • Accept the reason for the breakup.

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The Protest Phase

When people experience breakups they go through the ‘protest’ phase initially, and the rejected lover becomes obsessed with winning back the person who has quit the relationship.

Rejection, paradoxically, makes the rejected person love the partner even more. This is called a ‘Frustration Attraction’, and can be categorized as an addiction.

Chemical Reactions

The rejected lover experiences high levels of dopamine and norepinephrine in the brain, and are visibly stressed out. These chemical reactions trigger many to do crazy things to win their ex back. Such feelings are erased quickly if the lover starts dating a new partner.

Some people also feel increasingly passionate and loving after the breakup and are more likely to forgive their ex.

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Take Your Time

Breaking up can trigger chemical, emotional and physical reactions that cause you to feel lonely, unloveable, depressed, and worthless. 

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Good Grief

The five stages of grief are: 

  • denial (inability to accept reality), 
  • anger (physical tension, frustration, resentment), 
  • bargaining (magical thinking, pleading to God), 
  • depression (sadness, emptiness, guilt, sleeplessness, loss of appetite, hopelessness),
  • acceptance. 
Become Anti-Social (Media)

Nothing good can come from looking at your ex’s Instagram stories or Facebook timeline. When it comes to social media, just say no.

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The Benefits Of Sex

Schedule it if necessary. Having sex regularly helps with keeping a relationship from going stale and drives up the testosterone system, which makes you want to have more sex.

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Avoiding Routine

Trying new things will keep the relationship from coasting into routine. this drives up the dopamine system and can sustain feelings of romantic love.

This doesn’t have to be a major change, like taking a trip around the world or deciding to have a baby. Little things, like trying a new recipe together, or going for a walk around the block instead of staying in for a movie, can provide the novelty your brain craves.

The Benefits Of Touch

Touch is proven to foster connection, it drives up the oxytocin system and can give you feelings of deep attachment to your partner.