Being in Love

Being in love is the most talked-about phenomenon in life. The majority of popular films, books, songs and television shows are all built around the experience of two people meeting and a spiralling fountain of ecstasy, commitment, growth, loss and transcendence. It’s no surprise then that love has been the subject of extensive study by philosophers, psychologists, anthropologists, and biologists. So what happens when you fall in love and how can you make the most of it?

Equal Parts Biochemistry, Psychology and Spirituality

Being in Love
’It’s not age, sexuality, wealth, religion or culture that determines the success of your relationship. It is your willingness to discover what love means.’
~ Stephanie Dowrick, "The Almost-Perfect Marriage"

Love is not just a matter of the heart; it’s just as much a matter of the brain. Many studies have now looked at what happens in the body when you fall in love. At that moment, which can happen in one-fifth of a second, 12 areas of the brain work together to release euphoria-inducing chemicals, including dopamine, oxytocin, adrenaline and aldosterone. When you're in love, it activates similar areas of the brain to a hit of cocaine and the same ecstatic feelings. Unfortunately this complex interplay of hormones drops off after nine months to two years after the initial infatuation.

’Eros, or passionate love, is often portrayed as arriving with a thud, sent by an arrow-wielding god or goddess of love.’

Apart from these undeniable evolutionary and biochemical elements to attracting you to someone in the first place, falling in love is also where psycho-spiritual elements come into play.

In a romantic relationship there is a sense that two people meld into one as partners share friends and activities. People often feel that they complete each other’s selves. I love the way psychotherapist Robert Johnson describes love in his book, The Psychology of Romantic Love: ’Love is not a doing but a state of being – a relatedness, connectedness to another mortal, an identification with her or him that simply flows within me and through me, independent of my intentions or efforts.’

There is also no denying that romantic love has an erotic flavour. Falling in love sometimes points to a desire for fusion with the beloved – maybe to avoid one’s own sense of loneliness and isolation. Maybe a healthier way to think of love is not necessarily a ‘fusion’ of two identities, but two separate beings standing side by side. The happiest couples know how to create a loving merging whilst still retaining a spacious quality in their love.

Being in love undoubtedly enriches us immeasurably. As Dr. Judith Pickering observes, ’It is possible through love to have an almost mystical sense of our own divinity and that of the beloved. In the luminosity of authentic love there is a sense of flourishing and emerging into the fullness of our enlightened being.’





If you found inspiration on our Being in Love page, feel free to browse the rest of our Love pages too:

Related Pages

* Being in Love Signs

* Body Language when Falling in Love



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