“Falling in Love is the Best High You Can Get Without Breaking Any Laws”
Ke$ha’s “Your Love is my Drug” is a catchy pop song that is not nearly taken to heart when one is jamming out to it. However, one glimpse into the lyrics and it sounds familiar to a drug addiction description:
Maybe I need some rehab
Or maybe just need some sleep
I’ve got a sick obsession
I’m seeing it in my dreams
I’m looking down every alley
I’m making those desperate calls
I’m staying up all night hoping
Hitting my head against the wall
The owner of this blog (not me, I am simply a contributing writer) posted a meme that stated: “falling in love has similar neurological effects as the High produced from Takin Cocaine.” Before we jump into the psychological aspect behind it, let me first share a personal experience:
I am an outgoing, social girl but one who is reserved about giving information out about myself. When I engaged in conversation, I would rather ask questions about the other person and hear them out. I dislike talking about myself for numerous of reasons I will not state. Only my sisters and a few close friends hear my updates.
However, I feel like when I write, the topic just seems more sincere if I relate it to my own experience. It makes it more personable and vulnerable.
I grew up in an extremely conservative family that emphasized that importance of academic excellence and the teachings of Catholicism. As a result of being preached to stray away from America’s theme of: “sex, drugs and rock n’ roll”, my parents scolded the thought of dating and made it out to be a disastrous thing. Not only did they not want me engaging in pre-marital sex but they also feared that falling in love would hinder me. It would distract me from my studies and it would hold me back on opportunities I “could have, would have, and should have taken.” Sounds far-fetched but think about it: those countless hours of talking on the phone with your boyfriend, those constant moments of missing him when you are trying to study, and those weekends spent with him. It is hard to concentrate in biology class when you are constantly thinking of your lover and it is hard to attend the family party if you would much rather be watching a movie with your man.
I think when one is young we have a tendency to question and disagree with almost every single one of our parents’ wishes. There’s two sides of me: the conservative, clean cut, responsible Christina and the Christina who’s yearning for all those exhilarating, breath taking experiences. I agreed with my parents, but a huge part of me envied all the others who par took in activities I was deemed not to.
There was a huge transition from the age of 18-present moment (likewise, everyone else can relate). I went through a lot of new experiences and gradually started to form my own identity, standards and morals.
I had my first boyfriend when I was 19 and although I loved him for the compassionate person he was, I was never in love with him. The relationship was not anything too out of the ordinary however, when it ended, I found myself in a world wind of emotions. Now that I am in a more rational mind, I can evidently see that it was not him that I missed but rather, the security of knowing I had someone who loved and cared for me. I highly doubted myself and went back to him over 20 times because I assumed I would never find someone else who loved me.
The aftermath of the breakup and getting back together then breaking up was what made me realize what my parents said was true. How many people can easily agree that going through a breakup makes it extremely hard to focus on anything? How many people can easily agree that the initial stage of falling in love is like taking a swift of crack cocaine (not like I’ve taken cocaine, but let’s use our imagination)? How many people can easily agree that going through a breakup is similar to a drug withdrawal?
(Do not worry this article is not an anti-dating and anti-love one. There is a happy tie in my proceeding post!)
Dr Shauna H. Springer in The Join (Ad)Ventures of Well-Educated Couples shares that there are remarkable similarities between the brain state of a person falling in love and of someone being high off of cocaine. She is not referencing to a slight buzz after drinking one drink but rather, the high-octane euphoria that comes with smoking crack.
An anthropologist and relationship researcher, Dr. Helen Fisher, conducted an experiment studying the brain chemistry of love. Her studies found that the brain chemicals (great amounts of dopamine and norepinephrine) are nearly the same pathways and structures as falling in love.
Now get this: the side effects of cocaine. This definitely came as shocker to myself as I did not realize the great parallels.
Side Effects: Enhanced mood, heightened sexual interest, feeling of increased self-confidence, greater conversational prowess and intensified consciousness (psychologytoday.com).
Does that not sound awfully familiar to the “side effects” of one falling in love?
In my following post, I will be reversing the topic and writing about how falling OUT of love is equivalent to the withdrawals of a cocaine addiction (Facebook stalking, eating a gallon of ice cream, watching “The Notebook”…have we not all been there?) Stay tune!