The Love Drug
As Valentine’s Day approaches, our thoughts turn to romance. Unfortunately, many of our cultural myths about love, from fairy tales to rom coms, paint a very distorted picture. In stories, love is a static reward — you go out and find your prince or princess, overcome whatever obstacles the world throws in your way, and achieve a state of romantic happiness. But love is not the pot of gold waiting at the end of our quest, incarnated in a single perfect partner. Instead it’s something we need with us every step of the way — it energizes us, gives us courage, and guides us. But we are just beginning to understand how it works.
It turns out that all kinds of love — for friends, family, and lovers — are induced by similar neurochemical circuits in our brains. As Dr. Larry Young and Brian Alexander explain in The Chemistry Between Us, when these are activated, we’re flooded with elation and the whole world seems brighter. Dr. Young suggests that over millennia, we evolved to be social animals. For that to happen, social attachments had to become immensely rewarding, to compensate for the difficulties such relationships also entail. Our bodies and —> Read More Here