If you’ve ever had a crush on someone, you know the signs: butterflies in your belly, racing heart, sweaty palms. Those hallmarks of childish romances translate to how your body feels when it’s falling in love with someone. Here are just a few of the super cool things that happen to your body when you fall in love (or lust).
Your body kind of thinks it’s on a drug.
Researchers have discovered that falling in love feels a lot like being addicted to drugs because the brain releases dopamine, oxytocin, adrenalin, and vasopressin. Kat Van Kirk, Phd., a clinical sexologist and licensed marriage and family therapist, says that these types of chemicals are produced at different points in a relationship to help form the bond between partners. “The more time you spend with this person, the more addicted you become,” she says.
The butterflies in your stomach are real!
You probably don’t remember eating all those insects, though. But really, that fluttering sensation in your stomach you get when you’re around your person is a real feeling. Oxytocin is released when you start to fall in love, which makes you feel happy. But cortisol, or the “stress hormone,” is also released, and when cortisol is released, the blood vessels around your gut contract which can lead to nausea. Isn’t love pretty?
Being in love feels like being drunk.
Like having too many drinks, being in love can also make you less inhibited, fearful, or anxious. Being in love releases oxytocin which, in addition to the host of fun things it does listed above, can also make you feel the same things you feel when you’re drunk. Though the effects of oxytocin and alcohol affect different parts of the brain, the outcomes are similar.
Being with the person you love reduces stress.
It’s normal to feel less stressed out about life when you’re with your person. Their presence has been shown to calm stress and nerves. And, even more fun, more endorphins and dopamine are released when you kiss.
Happy week after Valentine’s Day! That’s a thing, right?