Helen Fisher, an anthropologist at Rutgers University and a well-known expert on love, led a study that revealed the brain has an in-love phase, with 13 telltale signs that say you are definitely in love.
The 1st sign is the belief that this person is unique, and that nobody else could possibly be to you what they are. Researchers said this belief was fed by the chemical, dopamine, which impacts attention and focus.
The 2nd sign is when you can only see what is right about this person—and that you simply cannot find anything wrong with them. In other words, they are perfect. You daydream about them, focusing on all the positive feelings and activities associated with them. Researchers say that the chemical norepinephrine increases this daydreaming and associated images and memories.
The next sign is those up and down mood swings—euphoria and increased energy can swing to sleeplessness and loss of appetite in hours. Little things that are said and done can set these off, and any small wrinkle can lead to feelings of despair. Researchers say that being in love is a form of addiction.
The 4th sign has to do with feeling closer due to any adversity that befalls you—and intensifies the romantic attraction. Again dopamine producing neurons can lead to this more intensified reaction.
Another sign is obsession. People in love have trouble getting the person out of their thoughts. Every waking moment is spent thinking about them, and thinking about what it will be like when you next see them. Researchers say that 85% of a person’s thinking can be taken up with this obsession.
Then there is the emotional dependency. Jealousy, fear of rejection, anxiety when separated are all symptoms of this dependency. The person can’t imagine a future without them, and would not want to. The same area of the brain that activates with cocaine addiction, activate with obsession. No wonder we call it an addiction.
Fantasies of a future life together are frequent and intense. Couples in love are constantly thinking of ways to be together, spend more time together, and be closer. MRI studies show that neural systems underlying drive and reward recognition become active when people in love gaze upon their beloved’s face. Can’t make this stuff up folks.
“A fool for love” has a basis in reality. People in love are ready to do ANYTHING, sacrifice anything for the person they love.
When we are in love, it takes a priority over other things in our lives. Everything from daily routines and habits to how you dress and what you eat can be affected. However, this has its drawbacks as essentially people are attracted to their opposites, and changing your life to fit someone else’s could eventually work against that initial attraction.
Possessiveness is another sign of being in love. It’s not just physical-it’s also the desire to be exclusive and number one in every area of the person’s life. Jealousy and insecurity can really show themselves here.
Emotional intimacy begins to weigh more heavily than physical intimacy—though couples often say that physical intimacy is also very important to them and the relationship.
Couples in love say they just cannot control how they feel—that their passion is involuntary. They feel they have no ability to stop these feelings and desire. No wonder stalking can be so scary.
The in love phase will change, converting to one of attachment. The highs are gone, but the desire to be together remains though they have a more realistic, pragmatic and codependent relationship when this love phase ends. For some, the relationship ends completely when the highs are gone.
So if you think you are in love, reflect on these signs and see if they fit. Do the same for your love object—for if they do for you, but not for them—you may be the only one in love.