Oxytocin is responsible for shaky knees, sweaty palms, and flushed cheeks when people fall in love. Whilst these physical cues can be seen, little evidence is available about love’s impact on the brain. (Borrell 2014)
How the Feeling of Love Develops
When you fall in love, you also feel better physically and mentally. People who inspire romance cause another person to release feel-good hormones, such as oxytocin. Oxytocin is a hormone that is secreted in the pituitary gland by the posterior lobe. The pea-sized structure is located at the base of the brain.
Known as a “love hormone,” oxytocin is released when people cuddle, hug, or bond socially. According to a study published in 2009 by the journal, Hormones and Behavior, the hormone is also released when a pet owner is playing or bonding with his dog.
The hormone also intensifies memories of poor relationships. As a result, the release of oxytocin can deepen suspicion. Depending on the environment then, the hormone can cause you to feel more loving or make you feel wary.
Oxytocin in Women
Oxytocin is especially important for women. The hormone was first regarded for its role in the birthing process as well as in nursing. The hormone also supports mother-and-child bonding. According to a 2007 study that was published in Psychological Science, a woman’s oxytocin levels in the first trimester of pregnancy are an indicator of how much she will sing or bathe her baby.
Oxytocin in Men
In men, oxytocin also facilitates the process of bonding. Fathers who were given the hormone in a nasal spray engaged in play more closely with their five-month-olds. Research also showed that men in a relationship, when given an oxytocin spray, stood a farther distance way from an attractive woman. This result suggested that the hormone may serve as a fidelity enhancer for men. (Pappas and Writer, no date).
Cementing the Social Bond
Oxytocin acts as a neurotransmitter in the brain. Therefore, it is manufactured in the nerve cells versus the glandular cells like other hormones. As a result, romantic activities, such as hugging, cuddling, or kissing can elevate oxytocin levels, which, in turn, cements social bonding.
In fact, becoming romantically involved can lead to an addiction or obsession of a specific individual. This type of behaviour mimics someone who is addicted to a drug. Sizable amounts of brain chemicals, or norepinpherine (NE) and dopamine, are involved in both drug and love addictions. It is not surprising then that people often go through a painful withdrawal when they part ways.
Still, scientists cannot explain what sets off the feelings of love or why we choose who we do. As a result, falling in love is still, to some degree, difficult to explain. Researchers have not yet been able to take the total mystery out of the process. (Borreli 2014).
Love is Blind
According to Science Daily, the act of falling in love reduces serotonin levels, which is a common reality in people with obsessive-compulsive disorders as well. This reduction may explain why lovers concentrate on little more than their partner during the initial stages of a relationship. Love is indeed blind as people often tend to idealize a new partner. As a result, they only see what they want to see during the first stages of a relationship. (What falling in love does to your heart and brain, 2016)
Who To Contact about a Relationship Issue
If you need to receive hypnotherapy and counseling about a love addiction or you want to better understand how to relate to your spouse or partner, you can obtain the therapy you need at Malminder’s Hypnotherapy Practice. The hypnotherapy centre regularly takes appointments and receives enquiries online 24/7.
 Borreli, L. (2014) How your brain works when you’re in love [VIDEO]. Available at: http://www.medicaldaily.com/oxytocin-love-hormone-fuels-romance-how-your-brain-works-when-youre-love-269067
 Pappas, S. and Writer, S. (no date) Oxytocin: Facts about the ‘Cuddle hormone’. Available at: http://www.livescience.com/42198-what-is-oxytocin.html
 What falling in love does to your heart and brain (2016) Available at: https://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2014/02/140206155244.htm