EYE SPY: Love at First Sight...Is it Really? The science behind EYE-ing the one you love.
You know the drill: you catch a glimpse of someone across the room and you can’t stop staring, or you bump into someone when you are completely distracted by something else and then suddenly, nothing exists in the world but the two of you. Yes, love at first sight can be a wonderful, random and special occurrence and one that can throw your heart and your brain into chaos. But is it really love?
Here is a bit of the science behind eyeballing a new attraction!
According to a Rutgers study and a team of scientists led by Dr. Helen Fisher, romantic love is a triptych of categories, each with a healthy dose of hormones to go with it.
Let’s start with LUST, because we usually do, and the influx of testosterone and estrogen that drive it. Lust can give you a brain fart where your hands get sweaty and you can’t seem to say the right thing no matter how hard you try. You can feel your heart beating a mile a minute and you may stumble not only on your words, but physically. There is an evolutionary push for people to fall in lust based on a primal need to perpetuate the species. When you spy the new apple of your EYE, the hypothalamus stimulates an overproduction of sex hormones that increase libido as well as your courage to walk over and get acquainted with the new object of your affection. So, the term “love at first sight” might more aptly be called “lust at first sight”.
Next up? ATTRACTION. Here, there is a similar chemical reaction but this one is where your brain feels rewarded when you spend time with your new love. Yes, remember those all-consuming months when you first fell head-over-heels, and you couldn’t get enough of each other? Where you talked until the sun came up and then went to work anyway? When something feels good to us, our bodies release high levels of dopamine and norepinephrine and this gives you that lover’s “high” feeling. We also may feel like we can tackle the world (on little or no sleep) and “living on love” has accounted for more than a few pounds lost during the beginning stages of a new relationship. In fact, the body’s response during attraction reduces serotonin, and this can scientifically change your appetite and mood.
Interesting side note: Both lust and attraction shut off the prefrontal cortex of the brain, and rational behavior, thus proving that “Crazy in Love” is more than just a saying.
Finally, as the flowers, cards, small gifts and endless back rubs fade into distant memory, you build what has some real staying power – ATTACHMENT. Here, your body releases oxytocin and vasopressin (both also produced by the hypothalamus) to help seal the deal and the connection to your mate (or to your friend or your new baby). This aspect of love is based more in friendship and bonding than romance and sex. But what it lacks in the throes of passion, it more than makes up for in the strength of the bonds that it can form.
Although the hearts, flowers and hype can be fun, this Valentine’s Day, remember that true love isn’t just about one day every February. It is about the people you see every day and how important they are to you and how important you are to them. So, this February 14th, we hope that everything you choose to see and do, brings you closer to the loves of your life.
Happy Valentine’s Day from all of us at Väri Eyewear.