What does science know about love and what does the average person need to know?
Love is a wonderful phenomenon in a person’s life, which cannot and should not be described from a scientific point of view, some say. Others are sure that any emotion, feeling, passion is the result of complex processes that occur in our body, which means that they can be structured and described.
The scientific community removes the mystery and inexplicability from such a concept as love and provides a fairly accurate description of all processes, which include both fleeting love and fidelity for life.
How does modern science describe love?
The easiest way to understand the scientific definition of love is in terms of neuroscience. In a study by Ortigue S. et al. titled Meta-analysis of Evidence from New Perspectives in Sexual Medicine (The Journal of Sexual Medicine. 2010. V. 7), investigators conclude that love is “a dopaminergic goal-setting motivation for mating.” connections."
In simple words, in the human brain, under the influence of chemicals, in particular, the neurotransmitter dopamine, the formation of its own attitude towards the object of sympathy begins. This process often implies a high degree of hypertrophy. Non-existent properties are attributed to the object of sympathy, negative character traits are smoothed out and ignored. Expressions that describe these phenomena are well known in folk art and fiction: “Love is blind, you will love a goat!”, “Love is all-forgiving”, “If you love, you will forgive”.
In fact, the task of love, as a phenomenon that occurs between two people, is to lead them to create a pair relationship, thus ensuring the continuation of the family and further care for offspring. Although not always. In some cases, living together is easier, more profitable, more rational. A conflict situation arises: social norms come into conflict with the subconscious.
The process of turning light sympathy into falling in love, and then into true love, is possible by maintaining an elevated level of dopamine. It is impossible to exalt another person for a long time without a complex chain of subjective assessments of oneself and others. Approximately by the same principle, long-term goals are achieved. For example, if a certain benefit looms ahead, albeit in the long term, dopamine will maintain motivation for many days, months, and even years. Similar processes are observed in the body of a person in love.
The situation is different when it comes to love for the motherland, hobbies or work. Here it is impossible to deny the influence of the "zomboyaschik". But in any case, another neurotransmitter comes into play - oxytocin. It enhances social attachment, allows you to feel like a useful element of society. For example, the highest concentration of oxytocin for the entire period of life is experienced by a woman in labor immediately after childbirth. This is an indescribable state of happiness, bliss and love, which is caused by a multiple increase in the concentration of hormones, in particular, oxytocin. Apparently, this mechanism is needed in order to tie the mother to the child as much as possible, thereby ensuring the interests of the newly born organism.
Further “love”, which manifests itself in caring for a child over the next few years, which entails increased psycho-emotional and physical stress, is nothing more than a reformatting of the hormonal state. The level of adrenaline, cortisol increases, the concentration of other neurotransmitters changes.
Love for the motherland, volunteering, helping those in need - these processes are controlled by the hormonal system, encouraging the release of oxytocin, serotonin, when a person makes his contribution. Probably, in ancient times, existence was possible only together, therefore this is how our body works.
Therefore, we can draw a simple conclusion: love is not at all what ordinary people represent. While creative people can ascribe mystery to love as much as they like, the scientific community does not mystify this phenomenon, but describes it quite specifically.
How marketing and sales - powerful money machines - use the concept of love for their own purposes
In his book All Marketers Are Liars, Seth Godin analyzes how marketers tell stories to encourage their audiences to love their products, services, or themselves. Yes, we ourselves, when we create relationships, are the same marketers, right?
One of the most important human needs is not only to love, but also to be loved. This manifests itself at various levels of social life. An employee strives to be respected in his work team, an official is pleased with the next government award, and an entrepreneur is pleased with positive feedback about the work of the company.
In an annoying advertisement for washing powder, you can not see the listing of chemical characteristics, but you can see happy children who love their mother. A promotional video for a premium car is rarely complete without an expensive watch, beautiful suits, a safe road, and a beautiful woman who probably respects and loves her companion, and also admires him.
Every successful man wants to be loved. Therefore, he will never agree that a car is just a means of transportation. An exception may be a well-known doctor, teacher and other qualified specialist who receives “love” in other ways, so he does not feel the need for an expensive car, even if he can afford it. But such people are unlikely to be able to withstand the attack of marketers who, through TV screens, will talk about aftershave lotion, perfume, shoe brand or clothing store.
Imprinting and love in childhood
Despite the fact that each person has his own needs and preferences, we are constantly drawn to the same ones. Noticed? The brain seems to constantly evaluate those with whom we can establish a relationship and ultimately focus on the same. It's about the outside as well as the inside. Some like thoughtful, while others like cheerful, cheerful. Someone constantly finds “the wrong partner”, which life wisdom describes well - “If the third husband drinks, then the problem is not in the husband.” It's all about imprinting - the mechanism of imprinting images, which was formed at an early age.
Where does it all begin? Since childhood, of course! Understanding love begins with love in childhood - parents tell the child that they love him. This is not love, but a variant of the manifestation of one's social function. A child is a defenseless creature, a dependent member of society, so the parent must be an authority.
Caring parents do not really love their children, but run the so-called behavioral attachment system. This is a simple and understandable psychological model that provides both the infant, the child and the adolescent with emotional support and protection.
In any case, love in childhood, which parents provide for their children, after decades is transformed into love on the part of children towards their parents. In fact, the same oxytocin works - a neurotransmitter whose task is to ensure close interaction of a particular biological organism with society in general and people close to it in particular.
Influence of fiction and cinema
In the elementary grades, the child gets acquainted with the concept of love for the motherland, the fatherland, and in the middle - with numerous works of literary and cinematic art. Colorfully presented love experiences help children see the other side of love - sentiment, romance, languid sighs and more. But relationships in cinema and literature are definitely not love, but only excerpts from the lives of heroes. The rest, including those less attractive to the eye and ear of the reader or viewer, is simply ignored.
On the basis of this, the impression is formed that tragic and sacrificial love is wonderful, but in fact it is extremely rare to find “like” in life.
Having received subjective ideas about love, the child turns into a teenager, and then into an adult, not understanding the principles of the hormonal system, which quite simply explain what love is and why “love lives for three years”.
Helen Fisher, an anthropology expert at Rutgers University, believes that love is a staged emotion that should be seen as a series of stages. He compares it to thirst or hunger. But in fact, how can we mystify or romanticize the state of a hungry person or one who went on a long run, but forgot a bottle of water?
Love at first sight, about which so many films have been made and so many books written, is actually a powerful shake-up of the body. You yourself know that the appearance of sympathy, which develops into affection, and then into “love”, is a matter of a few seconds. Imprinting kicks in again. The new person is not really new, because his image is already familiar to you. As a result, a person's perception of reality is distorted, the partner is idealized, and he is looking for a solution to the problem outside himself. Although from the point of view of neurobiology, we are talking only about the reaction of the body to an external stimulus.
Without getting acquainted with the biological aspect of love, but only having received numerous distorted ideas, people begin to get acquainted in real life and on the Internet in order to start a relationship, they already have so many wrong patterns of behavior that the likelihood of a positive development of events is extremely low. Only after decades of unsuccessful tests do people adapt to each other, and even then not always.
Many do not understand what love is and whether it exists at all, despite the fact that they see this very love in commercials, newspaper articles, books, entertainment videos. Even the very question of what love is will confuse not only a school graduate, but also a highly educated person.
Self-education will help to prepare yourself for an adequate perception of falling in love and love, as well as learning how to properly respond to instincts. Daniel J. Amen in his book Brain and Love. Secrets of Practical Neurobiology” provides a detailed description of the work of the hormonal system, provides a large number of references to the results of scientific research, including those performed using computed tomography. It clearly demonstrates that infatuation, crazy love, unrequited love is a change in the concentration of adrenaline, norepinephrine, serotonin, dopamine, phenylethylamine.
But what to do with such knowledge? After all, if you realize the scientific explanation of what hunger is, you won’t feel like eating. Yes, but you will understand how to properly manage hunger, how to prevent overeating, which foods are useful, which are harmful.
So away languid sighs and other lyrics! It's all about chemistry and imprinting!
To find true love, you can understand the processes of the body and conduct a series of experiments in order to establish the reactions of your body.
Or just use our service, where we have already done everything for you.