Ever wonder whether love is something you control – or is it just your hormones and biases behind it?
What about chemistry – are you in control or is dopamine?
Well there’s actually 2 reasons why we all fall in love – a lot comes down to our need to reproduce.
1. Sex drive – for blokes that’s coming from two structures in your brain. Your amygdala and your hypothalamus. Those brain structures evolved to get you to even look at partners.
2. Romantic love – this developed later and gave us a reason to focus our energy on just one person. The attachment and feeling of security evolved to help people stay together long enough to raise kids.
Yucky, graphical Sumerian love.
Image credit: Terracotta plaque from Babylon. (Vorderasiatische Museum Berlin 3576 13.5×7.5 cm) Image credit: Assante 2002: Fig.1
The most important thing to note is that romantic love was not invented by Shakespeare, poets or even Hollywood. Love poetry was found in ancient Sumer (modern day Iraq) as long as 4,000 years ago. There’s also evidence of romantic love in over 150 different tribes and societies over the course of human history.
We’re all alike in the same basic and beautiful way – our amygdala and hypothalamus gives us a reason to look for love and our need to reproduce gives us the reason to keep on loving.
So, how much control do you think you have?