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Blackpill Love, Actually: The science behind lust, attraction, and companionship [Feb 2017]

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FEBRUARY 14, 2017

BLOG

Love, Actually: The science behind lust, attraction, and companionship​


by Katherine Wu
figures by Tito Adhikary




View: https://youtu.be/HEXWRTEbj1I



In 1993, Haddaway asked the world, “What is Love?” I’m not sure if he ever got his answer – but today, you can have yours.


Sort of.

Scientists in fields ranging from anthropology to neuroscience have been asking this same question (albeit less eloquently) for decades. It turns out the science behind love is both simpler and more complex than we might think.

Google the phrase “biology of love” and you’ll get answers that run the gamut of accuracy. Needless to say, the scientific basis of love is often sensationalized, and as with most science, we don’t know enough to draw firm conclusions about every piece of the puzzle. What we do know, however, is that much of love can be explained by chemistry. So, if there’s really a “formula” for love, what is it, and what does it mean?


Total Eclipse of the Brain

Think of the last time you ran into someone you find attractive. You may have stammered, your palms may have sweated; you may have said something incredibly asinine and tripped spectacularly while trying to saunter away (or is that just me?). And chances are, your heart was thudding in your chest. It’s no surprise that, for centuries, people thought love (and most other emotions, for that matter) arose from the heart. As it turns out, love is all about the brain – which, in turn, makes the rest of your body go haywire.

According to a team of scientists led by Dr. Helen Fisher at Rutgers, romantic love can be broken down into three categories: lust, attraction, and attachment. Each category is characterized by its own set of hormones stemming from the brain (Table 1).

Table 1: Love can be distilled into three categories: lust, attraction, and attachment. Though there are overlaps and subtleties to each, each type is characterized by its own set of hormones. Testosterone and estrogen drive lust; dopamine, norepinephrine, and serotonin create attraction; and oxytocin and vasopressin mediate attachment. Table 1: Love can be distilled into three categories: lust, attraction, and attachment. Though there are overlaps and subtleties to each, each type is characterized by its own set of hormones. Testosterone and estrogen drive lust; dopamine, norepinephrine, and serotonin create attraction; and oxytocin and vasopressin mediate attachment.

Let’s Get Chemical

Lust is driven by the desire for sexual gratification. The evolutionary basis for this stems from our need to reproduce, a need shared among all living things. Through reproduction, organisms pass on their genes, and thus contribute to the perpetuation of their species.

The hypothalamus of the brain plays a big role in this, stimulating the production of the sex hormones testosterone and estrogen from the testes and ovaries (Figure 1). While these chemicals are often stereotyped as being “male” and “female,” respectively, both play a role in men and women. As it turns out, testosterone increases libido in just about everyone. The effects are less pronounced with estrogen, but some women report being more sexually motivated around the time they ovulate, when estrogen levels are highest.

Figure 1 Figure 1: A: The testes and ovaries secrete the sex hormones testosterone and estrogen, driving sexual desire. B and C: Dopamine, oxytocin, and vasopressin are all made in the hypothalamus, a region of the brain that controls many vital functions as well as emotion. D: Several of the regions of the brain that affect love. Lust and attraction shut off the prefrontal cortex of the brain, which includes rational behavior.

Love is its Own Reward

Meanwhile, attraction seems to be a distinct, though closely related, phenomenon. While we can certainly lust for someone we are attracted to, and vice versa, one can happen without the other. Attraction involves the brain pathways that control “reward” behavior (Figure 1), which partly explains why the first few weeks or months of a relationship can be so exhilarating and even all-consuming.

Dopamine, produced by the hypothalamus, is a particularly well-publicized player in the brain’s reward pathway – it’s released when we do things that feel good to us. In this case, these things include spending time with loved ones and having sex. High levels of dopamine and a related hormone, norepinephrine, are released during attraction. These chemicals make us giddy, energetic, and euphoric, even leading to decreased appetite and insomnia – which means you actually can be so “in love” that you can’t eat and can’t sleep. In fact, norepinephrine, also known as noradrenalin, may sound familiar because it plays a large role in the fight or flight response, which kicks into high gear when we’re stressed and keeps us alert. Brain scans of people in love have actually shown that the primary “reward” centers of the brain, including the ventral tegmental area and the caudate nucleus, fire like crazy when people are shown a photo of someone they are intensely attracted to, compared to when they are shown someone they feel neutral towards (like an old high school acquaintance).

Finally, attraction seems to lead to a reduction in serotonin, a hormone that’s known to be involved in appetite and mood. Interestingly, people who suffer from obsessive-compulsive disorder also have low levels of serotonin, leading scientists to speculate that this is what underlies the overpowering infatuation that characterizes the beginning stages of love.

The Friend Zone

Last but not least, attachment is the predominant factor in long-term relationships. While lust and attraction are pretty much exclusive to romantic entanglements, attachment mediates friendships, parent-infant bonding, social cordiality, and many other intimacies as well. The two primary hormones here appear to be oxytocin and vasopressin (Figure 1).

Oxytocin is often nicknamed “cuddle hormone” for this reason. Like dopamine, oxytocin is produced by the hypothalamus and released in large quantities during sex, breastfeeding, and childbirth. This may seem like a very strange assortment of activities – not all of which are necessarily enjoyable – but the common factor here is that all of these events are precursors to bonding. It also makes it pretty clear why having separate areas for attachment, lust, and attraction is important: we are attached to our immediate family, but those other emotions have no business there (and let’s just say people who have muddled this up don’t have the best track record).

Love Hurts

This all paints quite the rosy picture of love: hormones are released, making us feel good, rewarded, and close to our romantic partners. But that can’t be the whole story: love is often accompanied by jealousy, erratic behavior, and irrationality, along with a host of other less-than-positive emotions and moods. It seems that our friendly cohort of hormones is also responsible for the downsides of love.

Dopamine, for instance, is the hormone responsible for the vast majority of the brain’s reward pathway – and that means controlling both the good and the bad. We experience surges of dopamine for our virtues and our vices. In fact, the dopamine pathway is particularly well studied when it comes to addiction. The same regions that light up when we’re feeling attraction light up when drug addicts take cocaine and when we binge eat sweets. For example, cocaine maintains dopamine signaling for much longer than usual, leading to a temporary “high.” In a way, attraction is much like an addiction to another human being. Similarly, the same brain regions light up when we become addicted to material goods as when we become emotionally dependent on our partners (Figure 2). And addicts going into withdrawal are not unlike love-struck people craving the company of someone they cannot see.

Figure 2: Dopamine, which runs the reward pathways in our brain, is great in moderate doses, helping us enjoy food, exciting events, and relationships. However, we can push the dopamine pathway too far when we become addicted to food or drugs. Similarly, too much dopamine in a relationship can underlie unhealthy emotional dependence on our partners. And while healthy levels of oxytocin help us bond and feel warm and fuzzy towards our companions, elevated oxytocin can also fuel prejudice.

The story is somewhat similar for oxytocin: too much of a good thing can be bad. Recent studies on party drugs such as MDMA and GHB shows that oxytocin may be the hormone behind the feel-good, sociable effects these chemicals produce. These positive feelings are taken to an extreme in this case, causing the user to dissociate from his or her environment and act wildly and recklessly. Furthermore, oxytocin’s role as a “bonding” hormone appears to help reinforce the positive feelings we already feel towards the people we love. That is, as we become more attached to our families, friends, and significant others, oxytocin is working in the background, reminding us why we like these people and increasing our affection for them. While this may be a good things for monogamy, such associations are not always positive. For example, oxytocin has also been suggested to play a role in ethnocentrism, increasing our love for people in our already-established cultural groups and making those unlike us seem more foreign (Figure 2). Thus, like dopamine, oxytocin can be a bit of a double-edged sword.

And finally, what would love be without embarrassment? Sexual arousal (but not necessarily attachment) appears to turn off regions in our brain that regulate critical thinking, self-awareness, and rational behavior, including parts of the prefrontal cortex (Figure 2). In short, love makes us dumb. Have you ever done something when you were in love that you later regretted? Maybe not. I’d ask a certain star-crossed Shakespearean couple, but it’s a little late for them.

So, in short, there is sort of a “formula” for love. However, it’s a work in progress, and there are many questions left unanswered. And, as we’ve realized by now, it’s not just the hormone side of the equation that’s complicated. Love can be both the best and worst thing for you – it can be the thing that gets us up in the morning, or what makes us never want to wake up again. I’m not sure I could define “love” for you if I kept you here for another ten thousand pages.

In the end, everyone is capable of defining love for themselves. And, for better or for worse, if it’s all hormones, maybe each of us can have “chemistry” with just about anyone. But whether or not it goes further is still up to the rest of you.

Happy Valentine’s Day!

Katherine Wu is a third-year graduate student at Harvard University. She loves science with all of her brain.

Further Reading

  1. For a long-form human interest story on love, see National Geographic’s coverage of “True Love”
  2. For a very in-depth (and well-done!) introduction to the brain and its many, many chemicals, check out the NIH’s Brain Basics page
  3. For the New York Times’ take on falling in love with anyone, ask these 36 questions
 
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tldr not reading your essay
 
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@faded Welcome back... :feelsYall:

How many shekels did you need to give to the jannies? :feelssus:
 
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@faded Welcome back... :feelsYall:

How many shekels did you need to give to the jannies? :feelssus:
None. I threatened to dump their credit and their finances (in Minecraft)
 
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of course normies are coping and seething hard as expected in the comments section :feelsEhh:
 
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179 thoughts on “Love, Actually: The science behind lust, attraction, and companionship”​

  1. Mary Jane Mlynarski
    AUGUST 24, 2017 AT 4:03 PM
    Oxytocin…having a dog, does one’s hormone increase. Heard dogs are good
    For people who are depressed.
    REPLY
    1. lisa egemeier
      OCTOBER 2, 2017 AT 10:00 AM
      yes friendship with an animal can have many of the same benefits as human friendships including oxytocin and bonding. please educate yourself to a dogs social and other needs before adopting because the pet has no choice in the matter so you have a higher duty to treat a pet apropriately and give it a decent life. please consider volunteering at a rescue or shelter before committing to adopting, you will learn so much and help so many animals and people and that helps depression too.
      REPLY
      1. Kaylani
        NOVEMBER 19, 2018 AT 6:28 AM
        Fostering is fantastic too. Since you are helping them out and have the option to adopt but if you know your living or work situation may cause you to move often its not going to ruin things for everyone.
        REPLY
        1. d1399ecfc7143e10ab0690a03552eb35
          Pagatpat Bonifacio
          MARCH 11, 2021 AT 9:44 AM
          I beleive masturbation place a big role in releasing oxytocin. So I would recommend it for everyone.
          REPLY
          1. Freud
            JUNE 20, 2021 AT 3:04 PM
            You are partially correct my friend! Masturbation increases your bond to yourself and considers all other relationships threatening to that bond… so you can see the dilemma involved! What’s more, if we sidestep it a bit and fall for this, dopamine kicks in at way too high a level too. If our other relationships or activities can’t keep supplying this ‘new normal’ (becomes IMPOSSIBLE actually) for dopamine, we further push others away to try to enjoy the “mother lode” of dopamine that is never enough… so much more but that’s enough for now…
          2. Elaine Love
            MARCH 25, 2022 AT 7:10 PM
            Me too!! With a light touch of MY own erotica fantasy.
            I enjoy it the most when it’s just me, my world, taking care of me, myself without any subjective feelings of having to please my mate, performative.
            Each one has qualities that I enjoy, so for me it’s like ice-cream, I love several kinds, but My favorite and always go to is Strawberry!
  2. Swapan kumar Patra
    NOVEMBER 3, 2017 AT 3:08 AM
    Very scientific and interesting analysis… excellent!!!!
    REPLY
    1. Thomas Duncan
      AUGUST 24, 2018 AT 8:44 PM
      Is there drugs out there, that can block these chemicals so that we can never be attracted & attached to a significant other, therefore we can never be hurt by love and stay content and happy as a single free human?
      REPLY
      1. GEORGE JOHN
        AUGUST 26, 2018 AT 10:39 PM
        A positive interaction between two (or more) humans with verbal and non-verbal cues triggers an orchestra comprising of chemical neurotransmitters and electrical synaptic discharges which results in a symphony which is unlikely to be replicated by the action of a soloist in the form of a single pill. Multiple psychotropic pills given in an attempt to produce similar effects often result in cacophonies leaving the mind in a state which is sometimes worse than the problem it tried to rectify. This may be due to drug interactions, side effects or withdrawal symptoms. This is not to say that medications for the mind are useless or harmful but that the human element is irreplaceable even when medications of proven value are administered.
        REPLY
        1. Simon
          MARCH 10, 2019 AT 4:51 PM
          I can speak from personal experience about what George is saying. I was taking an ADD medication called Dexedrine. One of the effects of Dexedrine is that it boosts dopamine levels. It had lots of very harmful side-effects. Coincidentally this was around the same time that I was falling in love with someone, and I can tell you the experience was at least 10 times worse for everyone because of the medication.
          REPLY
          1. Michelle L Lambert
            APRIL 26, 2020 AT 10:08 PM
            Agreed! Thank you for sharing. Needed to read this tonight.
      2. Carolina
        OCTOBER 20, 2018 AT 10:55 AM
        Read ‘two cures for love’ by Wendy Cope. No medication required.
        REPLY
      3. Zucy
        DECEMBER 20, 2018 AT 2:57 PM
        It wouldn’t be blocking the chemicals, it would be blocking the receptors of this chemicals. You block these receptors by providing them with chemicals outside the body’s self production. Drugs that can do that are antidepressants, and others like amphetamines. Of course there are always side effects, and withdrawal symptoms. So there is no way to continously block these receptors and be 100%, 24/7 happy.
        REPLY
      4. abdul
        JUNE 6, 2019 AT 10:58 PM
        hi..i also want to know about this..did u get answer?plz letvme know if there are medicines
        REPLY
      5. B
        OCTOBER 11, 2019 AT 10:26 AM
        Anti psycothic blocks the uptake of dopamin. Main component in lust and attraction.
        REPLY
      6. Sara
        JANUARY 11, 2020 AT 10:57 AM
        It is a decision we Make. When I am tempted, I quickly go to what I have at home. I make myself feel what I would loose if I chose this immediate gratification that is stupid layer but pleasurable now. I think about how I would hurt my husband and children and family and friends. Then I think, is it worth it? We have free will. We must teach our children this and understand that we want to have free will and not be a robot. Then and only then is when we can be darn proud that we made the best decision.
        REPLY
        1. Sara
          JANUARY 11, 2020 AT 10:59 AM
          This was for B. Oct 11, 2019
          REPLY
      7. Freud
        JUNE 20, 2021 AT 3:29 PM
        We were designed for relationships. That is a fact and the science only confirms the design. Any attempt to lean into self for total fulfillment will only short circuit the creation. Don’t be fooled by hurt… it is a mechanism of our creation to seek safety at times, but when mastered and processed in the presence of the designer, the opportunity for deeper love, more fulfillment, tighter bonds, etc etc… will occur… you can see a similar process in sports, careful diet, sabbath rest (originated by the creator him/her self), and many other areas… learning to embrace hurt and learn that feelings are not bad, it’s what we do with them that can be bad…
        REPLY
        1. dcb5408d2dbf4e078ea0ec8c56453111
          EVERTON L SEBBEN
          JANUARY 23, 2022 AT 9:29 PM
          Thats gold. Thanks for sharing this.
          REPLY
      8. Anna Collins
        JULY 8, 2021 AT 5:47 PM
        Hi Thomas,
        I read your excellent question and some of the replies. I wanted to say that I have clinical depression and take medicine to manage it. It doesn’t keep me from falling in love and it doesn’t keep me from feeling pain when I am rejected or betrayed. I too have longed to simply be content by myself and never have to deal with the highs and lows of love again. Sometimes I even get a little mad at God for letting me fall in love when I was content and had no desire for a relationship, then the love is totally one sided and I get crushed again. What I have learned is that there is no quick fix and it is not God’s fault that human emotions are so topsey-turvey. It’s the fault of sin in the world; the same thing that screwed up everything else. The only remedy for that is a relationship with Jesus Christ. He died to pay for our sins and he rose from the dead to defeat death. If we tell Him how screwed up we are and that we don’t want to be that way and tell Him that we accept, and believe God accepts, His payment for our sins and ask Him to come into our lives and be the master of them He will. He will transform our lives and and give us what we need for every day living and when we die, take us to heaven. Will we still fall in love sometimes? Probably. Will that relationship possibly not work out and end with us being very hurt and going through great pain for a while? Possibly. But it will not be as bad with Him as it was without Him. And He is the only one that can really do anything about it inside us where it hurts. I know he loves you Thomas, because I know he loves me and I am not a very lovely person. Please think this over and be encouraged.
        REPLY
      9. Sally Margaret
        AUGUST 15, 2021 AT 6:42 PM
        I feel exactly the same way! I think I am in love with this older dude at work (or at least have very strong feelings) and it’s a ‘bit’ of a struggle always trying to hide and supress these feelings. I am terrified of rejection, doing something idiotic or being taken advantage of, but like this researcher said sometimes these chemicals cloud your judgement causing you to do crazy shit! I just wish I could stop feeling this way, (so intensely! ) and go back to my normal, boring, stress free life. zero romance = zero hassle!
        But then I get to wondering is it worth it? with the right person in a mutual relationship? I imagine there could be no better feeling!
        REPLY
        1. Viktor Ribeiro
          NOVEMBER 24, 2021 AT 6:17 AM
          Completely right way to think.
          Fair well.
          REPLY
      10. Zain Fatima
        JULY 20, 2022 AT 3:16 AM
        These surges which person feels in love r not only associated with the euphoric love like conditions but these neurotransmitters also involves in the normal physiological homeostatic functions of body…so if drug for the inhibition of release of these neurotransmitters(chemical) will b taken it will disturbe their normal basal homeostatic levels……
        REPLY
  3. 6095e27bc4bb5daa27f49680b9aae6f1
    adam
    JANUARY 23, 2018 AT 2:47 AM
    I don’t believe this is all just chemicals. If that’s the case it would be a valid defense in court to just blame chemistry for everything.
    REPLY
    1. Alex
      MAY 6, 2018 AT 11:24 PM
      To be honest, humans probably do not even have free will. Our bodies have to obey the physical laws of the universe, but in order to predict what someone will do we have to know the starting conditions of almost everything. Because this truth alludes us, we explain it by saying we have free will, just like we explain miracles as phenomena. In reality, and court cases, while the chemical imballance standpoint could be argued, that would either be too out there to be valid, or it would be the same as arguing they were not mentally aware of their actions.
      REPLY
      1. Freud
        JUNE 20, 2021 AT 3:37 PM
        Some truth to the free will argument… I believe without the creators spirit involved we will live lives mostly chemically… the goal then becomes, how can I capture the creator’s spirit and live the life I was created to live to a greater potential… an iPhone never charged just looks like a functioning iPhone till you get up close.,.
        REPLY
        1. Lydia Trujillo
          NOVEMBER 28, 2021 AT 8:51 PM
          I honestly think you are right. I recently was diagnosed with graves disease is an autoimmune problem. According to my Endocrinologist specialist he referred my hormones to be off the charts. I have little to no control over the my state of mind. These hormones sometimes can be so evil. They have attacked my body and mind. To the point I have reverted back to my past traumatic events. Including past broken relationships. I am so broken up by it. I can actually feel like my soul is being ripped off of me. Or at least that’s how it feels. I am depressed. I cannot decipher with my medication treatment if I am coming or going. Is perhaps the worst feeling I have ever experienced. My only hope is to go to the one who has designed me and ask for help. From my mind and heart this disease has distorted my rational thoughts. I hate this feeling. And I hope to God he sees me through it
          REPLY
          1. Marina Fitzpatrick
            APRIL 1, 2022 AT 1:15 PM
            I am so sorry to hear this happened to you. My father had thyrotoxicosis, side effects of Cordarone arrhythmia medication. It was horrors, at some point his paranoia got a friend hallucination and that was pure torture. Very seldom he’d have moments of clarity and we could joke about it. But mostly it was dark. Hormones try to control us, that’s what I used to say to my son when he hit puberty. Every day I would remind him that while we can’t control the hormones released by out bodies, we can teach ourselves to be aware of what is happening and establish control over things that needs to be controlled and let other things fly free. It might not apply to you 100%, but still it could help, definitely helped my father to some extent. Our body is magical, whoever created is was a mad genius, it’s like a circle: sometime you smile because your brain released dopamine, and sometimes you force a smile and after a while your brain releases dopamine.
    2. Not said for privacy.
      JANUARY 9, 2020 AT 3:32 PM
      If you think love is just some sort of thought, it could be argued that it is still controlled by the brain. As is religious belief (controlled by a specific part of the brain nicknamed the ‘religious’ brain) and other emotions. So essentially, everything you believe in, feel, hate, is all controlled by the brain. However, I’m not stating that god is real or fake or that all religions believing in a god or more is fake, I’m just simply stating it’s all functions of the brain to believe in god or gods or to feel love.
      REPLY
    3. Christian
      MAY 7, 2020 AT 12:44 PM
      Truly, a bunch of nonsense. Man is so in love with sin that he/she will debase himself to any low level just to avoid coming into the Light of God. Man’s refusal to accept his moral responsibility. Man (and women) who are in love with sin and go to any extreme to try and convince others that their sin is okay. Wow. These last few years demonstrate the truth of all the words of the bible. Man’s judgment by od for sin is surely just.
      REPLY
      1. Finne
        JUNE 25, 2020 AT 6:06 AM
        Truly, a bunch of nonsense
        REPLY
    4. Allison
      MARCH 22, 2021 AT 5:32 PM
      Adam, you are right!
      We were all given a free will at Creation when God made us in His image. That is what differentiates us from animals. (That is also why animals do not go to court lol.)
      REPLY
      1. Lydia Trujillo
        NOVEMBER 28, 2021 AT 8:57 PM
        I can truly agree with your statement. I often wonder if we were created In a God likeness and image. And he loved us first. That’s how we know love. That perhaps that was his purpose. That we would seek him . Because his the only one that can truly fulfill that void and reveal the true meaning of his divine grace.
        REPLY
  4. GEORGE JOHN
    AUGUST 13, 2018 AT 1:49 AM
    Just something to think about free will….
    Most physical objects’ trajectories are decided by initial conditions and forces which subsequently act on it as per physical laws..(quantum phenomena excluded)…
    To apply the same paradigm to human actions and thereby deny free will (or to state that free will is a misnomer for our inability to know initial conditions) is a leap of faith…
    Consider that human actions can be influenced (modified/initiated) by perceptions of the future (either true or false) and hence its equivalence to Newtonian physics is not quite appropriate at this stage of our ignorance……………
    In addition, the action of a person who knows she/he will be held responsible for the outcome of his/her actions as compared to someone who can “beat the rap” will differ…
    Some things to ponder before concluding our take on free will….
    REPLY
  5. Christine
    AUGUST 15, 2018 AT 11:57 AM
    Brilliantly done. I understand where those people are coming from stating “free will”, although, free will still applies to this. Attraction is not merely based on ones physical prefers. As such, although I may be physically attracted to someone that changes quickly at first site of an unattractive quality such as greed, bad temper, lack of intelligence, as well as intolerance. Free will is there. The biggest proof of that are those who abstain, such as myself. Its not that I am not attracted to anyone it is just that I willing ignore or redirect those desires. Free will is a major player in a healthy relationship of any type. To simply deny free will existence is to claim every one of us is the same and we all know that is biologically impossible i.e. even twin have differences.
    REPLY
    1. Kaylani
      NOVEMBER 19, 2018 AT 6:47 AM
      Yes I agree.
      I have been incredibly physically attracted to people I don’t find aesthetically attractive or to people whos personalities made me want to push them off a cliff.
      And my free will can make me abstain if i have to such as if it would be an inappropriate relationship as i may already be in one or because I am not on birth control and dont want to risk pregnancy for instance.
      REPLY
  6. f86c6f0dc1f66ec6d90e9655a6f0e1ef
    Margaux
    OCTOBER 18, 2018 AT 1:57 PM
    Hi!
    I really like that article. Since i know a bit (a tiny bit) about brain chemistry, i’ve always seen love in a more chemical aspect. And your article allowed me to see everything clearer.
    For those out there who mention free will, couldn’t we say that the early stages of love (especially attraction) is only an impulse toward another human being, that eventually fades away (that could be why some pretend that love only lasts 3 years) and that afterwards the cortex with rational thinking takes over. Loving someone for rational reasons, eg “he is a great person” ” he takes care” “she is honest” etc..
    REPLY
  7. Kathryna
    MARCH 6, 2019 AT 2:01 PM
    The article was very informative and interesting. I spent 40+ years in the nursing profession as well as successful marriage and this is very intriguing to me. I would like to express the our creator did a beautiful job of intelligently designing humans. There are some good medications and therapies to help when things malfunction but sometimes I think we can mess things up by lack of understanding and interfering with the design of the human and nature.
    REPLY
    1. Chad Willett
      MARCH 25, 2019 AT 4:38 PM
      Intelligent design huh? That’s about as likely as a not so intelligent design if you ask me. we have nothing to compare our design to to determine how intelligently it was designed, maybe our creator was the last in his class and his creation (the universe and everything in it) was poorly designed compared to other creations of other creators, that’s why there was a couple million years and many different versions of early human before modern humans showed up and decided were part of an intelligent design. Maybe our creator gets laughed at by other creators because after 13.5 billion years his most intelleget primates are people, and people are only intelligent when compared to something else in this not so intelligently designed creation. We are smart enough to destroy their planet, smart enough to realize we are destroying our planet, but just to stupid (greedy) to care.
      REPLY
      1. Hunter
        APRIL 7, 2019 AT 12:42 AM
        While that is a perfectly stated shared opinion you might just find that the processes of this world are evidently exceptional in comparison to our own imaginations; some might not appreciate it but it would be interesting if they did.
        REPLY
        1. Hunter
          APRIL 7, 2019 AT 12:44 AM
          And also-I care about the planet, I’m just not the person that has the stress of caring for their countries needs and primary demands. People do things for specific reasons-no one is outright evil. (More or less anyway.)
          REPLY
  8. F.Y.
    APRIL 15, 2019 AT 2:05 AM
    Is it possible for one person to love two people EXACTLY equal? Let’s say a guy has his wife and his daughter and he loves them both very much. I think it’s impossible to love them both equally, there will be a slight difference because the likeliness of chemical levels being exactly the same towards two separate people is highly unlikely. I am sure at times the chemical levels will fluctuate due to certain actions, which would only mean that if someone were to love two people equally it would only be for a very small amount of time because chemical reactions can only last for so long. The reason I ask this question is because my fiance got mad at me because I said I’d love our child just slightly more than her. Also, I said I’d choose my child over her in a life and death situation where I had to pick one or the other and I said that I hope that she’d do the same. She said that it is possible to love people equally and that it is not fair that my love would not be equal in the family. I just do not see how it is scientifically possible to love several people the same amount.
    REPLY
  9. Sudeep M
    APRIL 17, 2019 AT 3:53 PM
    An interesting read on the dynamic chemistry behind the phenomenon called “Love”.. However, it would have felt much more complete, had it dissected the chemistry behind more forms of love other than physical attraction & biological bonding/attachments. It would have been much more interesting to know the chemicals that come into play when we develop unconditional love based feelings like compassion, tenderness & empathy towards fellow human beings & animals/life forms when we realize that they are going through some form of suffering.
    And this is comment No.50, by the way
    REPLY
  10. Anonymous X
    JUNE 7, 2019 AT 2:58 PM
    I don’t understand the difference between lust and attraction.
    I’m not an expert and this seems counter intuitive to me but based on the little I’ve read (about different regions in the brain controlling sexual desire and love) I would lean (or am considering leaning) toward the idea that sexual attraction and love are two fundamentally unrelated mental states and ‘romantic love’ is just the combination of sexual attraction and love (and obsessiveness if we’re talking about infatuation but obsessiveness wouldn’t make it a distinct emotion – you can obsessively hate someone, be obsessively interested in someone or obsessively love or admire them without physical attraction). Beyond that I think ‘romance’ is a cultural idea. A whole is not more than the sum of it’s parts, it is the sum of it’s parts. I don’t think there are different kinds of love – people have different kinds of relationships with different kinds of people and they express the affection they feel for them in different ways. It still seems to me that there’s an inherent psychological component to sexual attraction and intimacy, I don’t know if that’s compatible with the idea that sexual (or even sensual) desire and love are inherently unrelated. I still think that affection and emotional intimacy are a consequence of sexual attraction and sexual intimacy for animals who are capable of affection.
    In general I think a lot of the pop science you find online is biased, intellectually dishonest (riddled with half truths presented out of context or logically flawed interpretation of data etc.) or misleading.
    REPLY
    1. FreewayJ
      NOVEMBER 3, 2019 AT 1:18 AM
      Love your perception……. feedback. I agree as well.
      REPLY
  11. D. T.
    JULY 12, 2019 AT 12:07 AM
    What a great article on the understanding the basic chemistry of “love” ; thank you! I think this is why it is true that you can fall “in love” with anyone, all the basic chemistry elements are there in our body. You may not want to or choose to, but, it is possible. However, there are deeper bonds that have finer elements that are missing in the article. There is a spiritual element to love that draws us to each other that has to do with a fundamental energy in our bodies that may be difficult to measure directly. I believe this finer matter is what accounts for people doing things for love that are “superhuman”, that supersede our chemical signals or elementally driven desires. This spiritual component is one that usually develops over time and can becomes a bond that is so strong that it defies metrics and yet we feel it almost as tangible as a tie that binds. We can not truly understand love without the spiritual components.
    REPLY
  12. Desdemona Gallo
    JULY 18, 2019 AT 12:30 AM
    There are also infinite other issues affecting your love choices aside from hormones such as how much your parents showed affection, whether your family had a father figure, on and on. Obviously hormones are involved and they’re the same ones that cause drug addiction. I can’t believe someone asked whether there was a way to control dopamine level enough to block basic human emotions. This is basic neurobiology. The comments on here are absolutely unreal.
    REPLY
  13. Todd
    SEPTEMBER 26, 2019 AT 6:37 AM
    The moment evolution is introduced into a paper, you know you’re not talking science any longer.
    If things just happened, there is no “need”, no ability to randomize male and female genetics into all animals, no ability to see into the future and develop, and certainly no perfect symmetry of eyes, ears, arms, legs, etc. God created everything, and His creation was perfect and wonderful. But then man sinned, and continues to sin, and blaspheme and rebel.
    Also, genuine scientists (not fantasy/philosopher social scientists) from Yale and other universities have tossed out Darwin. On this news article is a 1-hour video of them discussing how impossible evolution is, from science:
    https://www.breitbart.com/tech/2019...scientist-david-gelernter-abandons-darwinism/
    REPLY
    1. Ambar Nag
      NOVEMBER 8, 2019 AT 5:04 AM
      The moment Creationists arrive, you know you’re not talking science any longer. But they seem to be all over the Internet. Sigh.
      REPLY
      1. Todd
        JANUARY 3, 2020 AT 12:48 PM
        Hey Ambar,
        Even what you call science and all of its disciplines, were created by God and understood by scientists for most of history. It was Columbus who read in the bible that God created the spherical earth in both Isaiah and the book of Job, that caused him to ask of King Ferdinand and Queen Isabella of Spain. His scientific journey and discovery was motivated by what he read in his bible.
        Isaiah 40:22-23 It is he who sits above the circle of the earth, and its inhabitants are like grasshoppers; who stretches out the heavens like a curtain, and spreads them like a tent to dwell in; who brings princes to nought, and makes the rulers of the earth as nothing. (Prophet Isaiah written approximately 600 B.C.)
        Job 26:7 He stretches out the north over the void and hangs the earth on nothing. (written approximately 1300 to 1100 B.C.)
        The list of scientific facts in the bible, starting from the book of Genesis all the way through to the last book, have facts that modern science only recently have corroborated. God speaking through His people LONG before modern science caught up to the truth give to us in His writing.
        If you were scientific, you would investigate the truth of the claims given in the historically accurate recordings of the Bible. Here is a list of 101 scientific statements made in the bible when “science” did not know these things:
        http://eternal-productions.org/101science.html
        An unbeliever, atheists, will never accept the truth of God because their minds are darkened. Only Christ can remove the blindness from a person and give them eyes that truly see things as they are.
        REPLY
        1. Duane Short
          FEBRUARY 20, 2021 AT 2:13 PM
          Columbus got lost. A circle is not a sphere. Conflating science with religion and visa versa renders neither science or religion. Physical v metaphysical are very real distinctions. Science cannot save a soul and religion cannot produce science.
          The capacity to distinguish or i.e., rightly divide these realms while physically existing in an a observable physical world with a mental capacity to imagine a metaphysical world appears to be a rare capacity indeed.
          Matters of faith are choice based. Matters of physical fact offer no choice but to accept the truth of the matter. Facts are not subject to imagination but rather to the rigors of repeatable physical observation.
          The conflation of religion and science, especially if one subscribes to an overarching power and force, is a recipe for confusion, distortion and error. To conflate realms is to attempt to study the nature of pure water by stirring in a spoonful of pollutants. Such an attempt will foil any progress toward a greater understanding of the nature of pure water.
          Please stop stirring up contempt for the scientific study of pure nature with the pollutants of religious and litigious speculation based in a choice of faith; a choice, by the way, to which I also subscribe but retain the good sense to discern the dichotomy between realms.
          Science will never save soul but it can and has saved my life many times over. Religion has never saved my physical life, at least in physically observable terms and it never will.
          Please allow science and scientists the physical space needed to discover physical truths of this universe absent your attempts to run interference with nebulous, at best, and nefarious, at worst, injections of your fallacious heroes like the lost Christopher Columbus or your paternal fathers of faith beginning with a clueless Adam who was essentially the intellectual equivalent of a chimp before being tossed by a metaphysical God from the famed Garden of Eden to survive by his own primitive wits.
          This God concept, if you insist, effectively created the “need” for humankind to develop its individual and collective brain. To date, no tool better than our system of science exists to help humans find their way through existence in a very physical world.
          Your feeble attempt to subvert human progress and condemn humanity to relive its chimp-like existence throughout its physical future is comparable to the “serpent’s” intent who got got you paternal hero, Adam, kicked out of his perfect garden in the first place.
          REPLY
  14. a02cd3388e70d5a1aea369b1383eebbc
    basicbiology
    NOVEMBER 13, 2019 AT 9:59 AM
    Estrogen levels decrees during ovulation and progesterone levels increase slightly
    “The ovulatory phase begins with a surge in luteinizing hormone and follicle-stimulating hormone levels. Luteinizing hormone stimulates egg release (ovulation), which usually occurs 16 to 32 hours after the surge begins. The estrogen level decreases during the surge, and the progesterone level starts to increase.”
    https://www.merckmanuals.com/home/w...he-female-reproductive-system/menstrual-cycle
    REPLY
  15. 63906eea107fbf0f4e2f26eead8d1891
    o
    JANUARY 3, 2020 AT 12:21 AM
    I like the delusional idea that humans have ‘free will.’ It is myopic to think so. Everything we do, consciously and unconsciously, is the result of a systematic reaction to biochemical programing at the cellular level, and beyond. It makes me giggle to think that we, as a species, think so highly or our individuality, as if we are the epitomy of ‘evolution’… self delusion, that’s what I call it… The other aspect that makes me laugh is our idea of “love” It is nothing but a pathetic, romantic illusion, that has been created to sell you products… LOVE as a concept, is nothing but a irrational, irresponsible, delusional shortcut to the resposibility that comes from being a member of a tribe…. nothing but base primeval behavior. We are born, we procreate ( or not ), we die. Everything in between is a mirage!
    REPLY
    1. Marina Fitzpatrick
      APRIL 1, 2022 AT 5:17 AM
      Totally agree that free will is an illusion. And not just because hormones control us, circumstances, social norms, just the fact that your parents met and had sex on that particular day. But the thing is, love does exist, it’s just not that common of an occurrence. Doesn’t have anything to do with romance and chocolate, resolute commitment and rational devotion. It’s a force born out of some mega strong chemical reaction that happens in your brain when you see and probably smell (and maybe some more senses are involved) each other for the first time in your life, and you know it. It is madness that lasts a lifetime and never goes away, however hard you try. Like tidal waves swallowing you and spitting you out, over and over. And sometimes it’s sweet, and sometimes it’s destructive. You just need to know when to let up, so later you can collide again, and again. If our life is a sum of our emotions, then love is the most beautiful and the most terrifying of all of them. It’s the best high you could ever have and the worst low that could happen to you. It does definitely worth searching for.
 
InMemoriam

InMemoriam

Secret Schizoid
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None. I threatened to dump their credit and their finances (in Minecraft)
how did you get banned in the first place? :feelshehe:
 
Kamikaze

Kamikaze

Admiral Hipper
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:fuk:No Oxytocin for my face
 
Martes

Martes

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Love isn't real
 
bigantennaemay1

bigantennaemay1

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such associations are not always positive. For example, oxytocin has also been suggested to play a role in ethnocentrism, increasing our love for people in our already-established cultural groups and making those unlike us seem more foreign
I don't get it, how is that negative? :feelsjuice:

of course normies are coping and seething hard as expected in the comments section :feelsEhh:
Why? It doesn't even seem all that black pilled or offensive.

We were designed for relationships. That is a fact and the science only confirms the design. Any attempt to lean into self for total fulfillment will only short circuit the creation.
Normies will admit this in most contexts, but when we complain about being lonely and unfulfilled for being single, then of course all the empty (and blatantly false) platitudes come out about how you have to "love yourself" and "a partner won't fix anything." Why must normies gaslight us at every turn? :feelsUgh:

:fuk:No Oxytocin for my face
No oxytocin caused by my face in foids' prefontal lobes. :fuk:

Also, on a side note, WHY THE HELL IS THIS THREAD SO LAGGY??!? :reeeeee::reeeeee::reeeeee::reeeeee::reeeeee::reeeeee::reeeeee::reeeeee::reeeeee::reeeeee::reeeeee:
 

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