Am I in love?
When you are in love, the world becomes brighter, and all your emotions are heightened. Love is an all-encompassing feeling that is essential for human happiness. Some people find peace in familial and friendship love. Others cannot live without romantic feelings. But how do you understand that you are in love?
People are social beings that surround themselves with lots of different people. Human relationships are complicated. Each person in our surroundings has their role and level of importance to us. We have different kinds of feelings towards all people we know. Often, we create a certain feeling about a person that we haven’t met yet! Judging only by the bits and pieces we learn from others. Of course, labeling people from such an inaccurate image is the wrong choice, but it is often in our nature.
Amidst the variety of hues and shades of love and affection, how do we find true love? Am I in love? This is an excellent question to have. Often, people fall in love without even realizing it. And if you have a specific person in mind, it’s easy to determine your feelings if you know the telltale signs of being in love. What are they? They are partially physical, partially emotional, but, ultimately, connected to our chemistry.
The scientific approach
The science of love is a set of chemical reactions that our bodies conduct on their own. People do not regulate the production of “in love” hormones consciously. You cannot decide to become attached to a person and say, “let’s release all that dopamine.” Your brain has already decided it all.
While you are left at the mercy of biochemistry, understanding your body is a sure way to learn your feelings.
Usually, scientists divide the process of falling in love into three stages: lust, attraction, attachment.
The first stage is the one that we experience most often. Sexual hormones, testosterone and estrogen, drive lust. This is the most superficial stage of intimate human relationships.
The second stage goes more in-depth than lust. This is the love-struck phase, the beginning of your love. Usually, it is easy to notice, as it has many telltale signs. But, let’s get chemical for a moment.
Attraction is closely connected to the reward mechanisms of our bodies. During this stage, several neurotransmitters are at play:
Together, they get our heart racing, head high, emotions haywire. Overall, the signs are similar to addiction due to the influence of dopamine.
This phase is the long-lasting love that is also called “happily ever after” in fairy tales. This long-lasting commitment is the result of mainly two hormones at play, oxytocin and vasopressin.
As you see, there are different stages and types of attraction. And this is the scientific take on the matter. The spiritual side of love is an entirely different subject and requires at least two more articles like this.
Now, for this “Am I in love quiz” we recommend you to think about a specific person you feel attracted to (or several of them if you are indecisive!) and try to answer the questions with them in mind.
Would you learn about your Love Language as well?