What Keeps Us Together? (Biologically Speaking)

Science! (And love potions)Amid all the high-minded and sweet sentiments, it’s always helpful to brush up on the actual biology and neuroscience behind the whole relationship thing.

Scientists have been picking at brains and bodies of lovers for generations, trying to distill (for one reason or another) the whys and wherefores of romance and lust. What they’ve found is a host of interesting things, ranging from the sometimes amorphous theories of psychology to the more easily measurable neuro-chemical reactions that go on.

If all you’re looking at is the neuro-chemical things that bring us together, there are at least five key ones that pack quite the collective punch.

According to this article over at How Stuff Works, they are:

  1. Testosterone
  2. Serotonin
  3. Oxytocin
  4. Vasopressin
  5. Dopamine

All pretty powerful things. Most of which you can get from your doctor (though usually not as “love potions,” per se.)

They draw us close to one another, make us happy when we interact, make us really happy when we have sex, and, generally, get us addicted to one another.

Yes, you can, indeed, become addicted to love.

(You knew that was coming.)

Seriously, though, those chemicals can get in the way of our own safety and sensibility every now and then. That’s why some “detox time” is a good idea if either person involved in the relationship thinks things are getting a little out of hand.

Something More

Of course, biology and chemistry aren’t the only things that bring us together. There are plenty of other mundane things that do, too.

If you ask me, though, there’s always something more in the best and most healthy or fulfilling relationships. Something that’s not always scientific or sensible.

Not that I’d ever be able to convince most scientists of it.

For today’s questions, let’s forget for a second about all those chemicals we can’t control. I want to know what gets your juices flowing? What triggers your internal dopamine pump and maxes out your oxytocin. (And, if you’re already soaking in vasopressin, what overrides that monogamous trend?)

What Turns You On? (Click Here to Answer)

Questions from the previous days are still out there, waiting for you to answer them:

What’s your Perfect Valentine’s Day date? Click Here to Answer!

How do you feel about Valentine’s Day. Click Here to Answer!

And don’t forget the spread the love and share this post and these questions.

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