In Laws of attraction: Why do you like him/her?, I listed some scientific (evolutionary) reasons as to why you may be attracted to someone. Though these reasons may play a role in deciding your love subject, there is a lot more happening in your brain and physiology when you’re in love. Before looking into the importance of love, let’s first have a quick look at the state of mind of a “lover”. This will help you decide whether you’re in love or not. If you’re in love then:
- You want to be with that person all the time
- He/she is perfect. You completely ignore his/her shortcomings (and looks goes out of the window)
- You feel anxious, excited even doing normal day to day activities like bathing, reading. You’re thinking about her 85 percent of the time (from a scientific study mentioned in link below)
- You feel like a superhero who can do anything for her. Suddenly you feel brave enough to take risks you normally wouldn’t even think about
- There is surge of hormones (dopamine, oxytocin, etc.) which are basically the reason for these anxious, excited behavioural changes
Here, one important thing to keep in mind is the difference between a lover, stalker and psychopath. A lover always cares about the well being of his/her love subject.
So, are you in love?
If yes, read this carefully. If not, then just become a theoretical expert (like me) and enjoy.
So, why is love important? That at first seems a silly question. For someone, it can take 16-30 (even 40, 50 years), knowing 100-5000 people and then, experiencing and being in this “lover” state of mind (Aisa pehli baar hua hai, 17-18 saalon mein 😛). It’s a rare experience and that in itself should make it an important “feeling”? (Is it just a feeling?)
But then, we sometimes are not prepared and maybe can take things for granted. Anyways, the rarity of this occasion in itself makes it an important affair. But let’s look at the other reasons, that makes “love” an important state of mind that you should take seriously.
- It’s a sign that you have finally found your match: From childhood, your brain is constantly involved in partner selection process (which intensifies with puberty). It does a series of complex analysis based on physical and behavioural traits of people. This analysis results in various states of mind, like being attracted to someone, having a crush on someone, and the ultimate result being “in love with someone”. It is an indication that this person is the one with whom you will be happy all your life (and create a good environment for your babies to grow). So, go ahead, be brave and approach him/ her in this situation.
- Those hormones have positive effects (mostly): As mentioned before, oxytocin is one of the hormones which is in higher amounts when you’re in love. Oxytocin is also released during the time of pregnancy and creates a strong emotional bond between mother and her child. The same hormones intensify and strengthen your emotional bonding with your “love subject”. It also eases your stress, reduces drug carvings, crystallizes your memories. Overall, it has a positive effect on your body.
(11 Interesting Effects of Oxytocin)
Which brings me to the final point.
- Relationships: the most important key to your happiness and living a “good” life: A 75 years long study by Harvard has established that maintaining good relationships is the ultimate factor in deciding whether you had a happy, enjoyable life or not (What makes a good life? Lessons from the longest study on happiness). There are only a few people with whom you will have strong relationships: your parents, brothers, sisters, some friends, your pet may be and your life partner.
Love is one of the most important factors, that will help you in building and maintaining strong relationships.
If the feeling is mutual, then you’re very lucky as you have found a perfect person to share your happiness.
The Evolutionary History of Love