The other day, I was chatting with a friend who has been with his sweetheart for decades. “At first our love was filled with so much raw passion,” he recalled. “But I’d honestly say that I love my wife now more than I did the day we got married. Our love has moved into a close bond. She is my best friend. That is not to say that we don’t still have passion. But we don’t have to be all over each other every second.” So why are the initial stages of love so passion-centric?
Sex and reproduction expert, Dr. Helen Fisher points to dopamine, which is activated in the brain when someone falls in love. As she says, this reaction is in “the system that governs wanting, craving, obsessions, focus, energy and motivation. A brain scan of a person in love shows activation in some of the same areas as in a heroin addict.” Clearly, love is a strong emotion.