By Debra Soh
Source: Read full article at Quillette
We all remember the first time we fell in love. No matter how strong or independent or free you thought you were, all at once, you became powerless in the face of feelings that, to others, seemed obsessive and irrational.
When you’re in that state, everything reminds you of the one you love. They become the center of your world. Friends say your face lights up when you talk about them. You can’t sleep, you can’t eat. The thought of being without them feels like losing a part of yourself.
There are biological reasons that explain why the experience of being in love feels so overwhelming. These emotions serve an evolutionary purpose. Specifically, they allow two people to bond in a way that increases the likelihood they’ll procreate and maintain an environment in which the resulting offspring survive.
Neurobiologists know that love usually occurs in three phases: lust, attraction and attachment. In the first phase, lust, sex hormones create physiological arousal; in the second phase, attraction, dopamine creates intense feelings associated with the object of one’s desire (often tipping into something that resembles real addiction); and in the third phase, attachment,…