Let Dr. Helen Fisher explain the ever so complicated and complex idea of falling in love with you all.
The moment you fall in love, it can be magical. True. But you shouldn’t think that love is merely something that can conjure itself out of thin air. Sure. You are familiar with the idea of people going weak in the knees for love. People get butterflies in their stomach when they see the ones they’re in love with. But these are all very poetic and downright arbitrary.
What REALLY happens to your body when you fall in love? What goes on in the brain and how does it affect the rest of your body?
Yes, love is typically a very emotional experience that warrants a lot of emotional responses and sensations. However, you must also know that neurology and brain physiology play very important roles in crafting and developing healthy long-term relationships.
Haven’t you ever wondered why you just get so blissful and happy whenever you are in love? It’s because your brain has a tendency of shutting out all the negative thoughts and feelings. It deliberately chooses to overlook all of that negativity. And the key to actually building a strong and long-lasting relationship with someone is being able to take control of your own brain. It’s the truth.
Based on the analysis of biological anthropologist Helen Fisher and expert neuroscientist Lucy Brown, brains can actually play a big role in maintaining an illusion of positivity and happiness in a relationship in an effort to ensure its longevity.
It’s a very fascinating and in-depth discussion into how a relationship works and what roles a person’s brain can play when falling in love with someone.
The two experts actually describe these “positive illusions” that the brain produces as a way of making you focus on the things that you most like about a person instead of all the bad stuff. So in essence, it’s blinding you from all the parts of a relationship that would make you feel unhappy and unfulfilled in a relationship. In simpler terms, your brain is merely choosing not to acknowledge the parts of your relationship that might make you doubt the validity of your love.
Fisher and Brown have conducted numerous studies on the phenomenon of long-term relationships and romantic love. And they have tried to incorporate the studies of brain activity into the equation as well – and how it all relates to love and commitment.
The two researchers found out that whenever a couple is in a long-term relationship that is strong and happy, there are three particular regions on the brain that exhibit high changes in activity:
- The region of the brain that is linked with empathy.
- The region of the brain that is linked with the control of over one’s stress and feelings.
- The region of the brain that is linked with positive illusions.
The area of the brain that is actually associated with positive illusions is called the ventromedial prefrontal cortex. It is the region f the brain that processes judgment and analysis of a situation. Whenever you start becoming critical about something, then this is the area of a brain where it all originates.
But interesting things really happen in that part of the brain when people get into loving relationships. The activity in that area of the brain actually ends up DECREASING.
What your brain is actually doing is it is willfully suspending its own process of negative judgment whenever you feel like you are loved and cared for by your partners. And that is such a great thing, isn’t it?
Love actually has the power to give you the benefit of the doubt.
However, you shouldn’t take that to mean that you should now just ignore every single bad trait or quality that your partner might be exhibiting. Your love for them shouldn’t serve as an excuse for toxic or abusive behavior. But what these findings do suggest is that on a neurological level, we all know that in order to really make a relationship work, it’s important to be patient and understanding with one another.
And that’s one of the hardest parts of actually making a relationship work – being patient with each other.
As human beings, we are all born to be natural screw-ups as we get older. We aren’t always going to get things right. We aren’t always going to make the right decisions. We aren’t always going to be able to do the right things. And that’s why whenever we are in relationships with people we love, it’s important to be as patient and an understanding with each other as possible.
You are both just bound to commit a few mistakes here and there with regards to your relationship. But that’s okay. You just have to have the kind of patience and love that is able to withstand these shortcomings. And you’re bound to be alright.