Euphoria-Our Addiction to Love

“Mending a Broken Heart” by Free Grunge Textures – is licensed under CC BY-NC-ND 2.0

As Valentine’s Day approaches and new and old relationships throw us in a tizzy to impress, we find ourselves experiencing universal and age-old jitters. The sweaty palms, the racing heart, and the panicky stomach have us hurdling into this holiday in an almost addictive state- a Euphoric state even.

So tumultuous are our emotions during this season of love that it can often make us wonder what is responsible for this seemingly frenzied ideation.

The truth of the matter is simple. Our body is addicted to love. If you’ve ever really liked someone, then you know that when you’re around them, hours seem like minutes, and when you’re apart, minutes seem like hours.

The relativity of this concept is akin to drug addiction- the more consumed over a longer period of time equates to a stronger withdrawal experienced afterward. This idea of love addiction gets surmised in a Feb. 14, 2017 blog post titled “Love,

Actually: The science behind lust, attraction, and companionship” by Katherine Wu. Wu tells us that “The same regions that light up when we’re feeling attraction light up when drug addicts take cocaine and when we binge eat sweets” and goes on further to say that “In a way, attraction is much like an addiction to another human being.”

So now that we know that we can literally be addicted to somebody, who’s to say that we can’t also experience withdrawals or negative behavior? If being in love is chemically comparable to drug addiction, then there must also be some reminiscence of impulsivity or a termination contingency.

Wu also enumerates these argument. She states that “addicts going into withdrawal are not unlike love-struck people craving the company of someone they cannot see.”

She elaborates on this with dopamine- a neurotransmitter that affects pleasure- and its finicky tendencies saying that “too much dopamine in a relationship can underlie unhealthy emotional dependence on our partners.” Tito Adhikary also illustrates in Figure 2 of this blog how too much dopamine can relate to irrational behavior, adultery, and jealousy.

In short, love is a pleasurable addiction that we all fall victim to. This Valentine’s day, enjoy the addiction and stay safe!