Many people ardently search for the one, looking for that perfect person who they can share their lives with, without reaching disillusionments of boredom or apathy. Is it possible to find relationships in which we can remain passionate through the test of time?
Disagreements happen in nearly every romantic relationship. Over 90 percent of couples argue at some point, according to a University of Michigan Institute for Social Research survey. Couples fight over a variety of topics, ranging from money, kids, sex, quality time, pet peeves, chores, in-laws and jealousy, to name a few.
The topics of love and behaviors associated with it might be of the most studied but least understood. According to much research, there is good reason to suspect that romance is kept alive by something that is basic to the biological nature of humans – but honing in on what might specifically drive it hasn’t always been easy.
The Brain in Love
An association has been made by scientists between brains in love and certain brain activity. According to neuroscientists Ryan P. Dalton and Francisco Luongo, certain neurons in the prefrontal cortex that are associated with reward light up during play, suggesting that the brain’s response to play is ancient and that our bodies are hardwired for reward and fun.
Studies using functional MRI have been able to identify multiple regions in the brain that are associated with feelings related to love. People who experience passionate love show a higher activation in a part of the brain that is significant concerning pleasure, known as the caudate nucleus, as well as the ventral tegmental area, which is central to emotional processing. Both of these areas of the brain are considered rich in dopamine, which is a unique neurotransmitter that is associated with motivation and reward.
Furthermore, researchers have found that passionate love has been shown to have an effect on the brain chemistry of an individual, with one study showing an increased level of nerve growth factor (or NGF) in couples who are newly in love. NGF is an important protein that helps with the development of and the functioning of neurons in the brain. These levels were higher in new lovebirds in comparison to those who were in long-term relationships or single.
Romantic love is an experience that is both arousing and stressful. The initial feelings of romantic love are short-lived, which is proven through many studies. Although this love may diminish initially, there are plenty of steps that lovebirds can take to ensure that their honeymoon phase can last throughout their relationships.
Tips for Keeping the Honeymoon Phase Alive
If you want to keep your honeymoon phase in check in your relationship, get comfortable and remain positive. The power of positive thinking goes a long way, in addition to these tried and true tips for keeping the honeymoon phase going strong:
– Never stop cuddling: Cuddling is a great way to stay emotionally connected.
– Keep the wooing game going strong: Doing the things you did to capture your partner’s affections in the first place should continue. Try new things that could get his or her attention – even if it could be a total disaster, it can’t hurt and could be something to laugh about down the road!
– Try to see things from your partner’s perspective: Rather than looking at things through your own lenses, try to see things through his or hers. You may enhance your partner’s life and enjoy positive results.
– Talk your partner’s love language: Whether your lover enjoys a massage before bed or a two hour chat about how the day went for her or him, it is important to learn what makes her tick.
– Make time to enjoy each other’s company: Regardless of how busy the two of you are, it is vital that you make time for each other. Go out together and enjoy time alone, remembering why you chose each other. Remember all of the details, including the whys, hows, when wheres and all of the details of what brought the two of you together.
If you feel your life is stressful, or if you can’t sleep due to anxiety, you need to consider meditation and breathing techniques that calm your brain. You can also consider a form of biofeedback, called Neurofeedback. To learn more about how you can improve you sleep with meditation and how neurofeedback can help your brain feel relaxed and happier, visit us at NeuroGrow.com.
This blog was written by Mrs. Courtney Cosby and edited by Dr. Majid Fotuhi.