The Science of Love: How to Find Love in the 21st Century

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In this article, the answers to the questions; is love really science? , How can I find love in the 21st century? and How do I know I am in love? will all be done justice to. But first,  come to think of it, is Love Really Science?

Science has been the most logical explanation to phenomena. One of such curiosity is Love. The Science of love has been one marvel worthy to unravel. Scientific disciplines such as Psychology and Psychiatry have tried and still tries to justify love in its entirety. Other fields of Art like Literature and Philosophy have not lagged behind in contributing their quota in unsnarling this mystery known as love. But have they done that like Science? As Signi Livingstone-Peters puts it in his article published in the International Science Council, “In reality, love is a science” because there are certain chemical reactions in the brain and body that are responsible for the way humans feel when they fall in love. Such science is worthy of studying as majority of humans feel the need to love at some point in their lives. So what’s the science of Love and how can love be found in the 21st century?

The Science of Love: How to Find Love in the 21st Century

3 Categories of Romantic Love

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To understand the science of love, it is essential to know the components that make up love. Signi is of the view that romantic love has 3 categories namely; the lust phase, the attraction phase and finally, the attachment phase. These 3 levels according to him are responsible for the flushed cheeks and butterfly feelings lovers feel in their stomach. Such love infused feelings are caused by the release of certain chemicals at every phase. For instance, at the first phase of lust, the brain releases two chemicals known as testosterone and oestrogen. At the second phase of attraction, the dopamine, serotonin, and norepinephrine  chemicals which are all responsible for happy feelings are released from the brain. And in the final phase of attachment, the brain releases two chemicals known as oxytocin and vasopressin which are responsible for the behaviour of vigilance, guarding territories or ones partner or lover. Now you see love is science based on the chemical reactions beneath love’s surface.

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Finding love on the other hand particularly in the 21st century correlates to the science of love. That is, how can one find love without understanding the practical activity that encompasses it? Does Love make one sick? How do I know I am in love?

Does Love Make one Sick?

There have been researches as to if love really makes one sick due to the term- ‘Lovesick’ that explains how abnormal one behaves when they miss the one they love. Richard Schwartz, an associate professor of psychiatry at Harvard Medical School (HMS) and a consultant to McLean and Massachusetts General (MGH) hospitals, maintains the stance that science has never proven that love makes one physically sick but rather raises the levels of cortisol which is a stress hormone that has been proven to repress the functionality of the immune system. You know you are in love when you feel the telltale signs.

How to Tell You are in Love

Although there is no major rule of thumb as to deciding and ascertaining if what you feel is love but experts such as researchers, therapists and relationship experts provide certain guidelines to help you know if indeed you are in love. Dawoon Kang, co-founder and online dating platform Coffee Meets Bagel, posits that , falling in love is different for everyone.

She adds that she is a student of  Dr. Robert J. Sternberg’s Triangular Theory of Love, which describes types of love based on three different scales: intimacy, passion, and commitment: (intimacy suggests the desire to feel closely connected; passion refers to physical and emotional stimulation and lastly, commitment, a pointer to the urge of sticking together). Although, one does not need all of the 3 components to tell if he or she is in love but they are strong indicators that suggest you are on your way to love. It’s also important to note that a wrong conclusion could be met if one relies solely on the 3 pointers as someone in love with you might not show them. Therefore, it is wrong to suggest that they are not in love with you if you do not perceive any of the 3 aforementioned aspects.

Dr. Richard Schwartz’s wife, Olds who has co-authored books on marriage like the Marriage in Motion: The Natural Ebb and Flow of Lasting Relationships with her husband is also of the view that “your stomach and heart may take a leap every time they contact you or suggest spending time together”  There are many suggestions from relationship experts and scientists but it all balls down to an inexplicable feeling of individual.

Finding Love in the 21st Century

Understanding the science of love makes the difficult task of finding love simplified. Before the 21st century, it has been a somewhat difficult task to find love. There are two major avenues by which one could find love in the 21st century. Ann Conkle in her article titled Modern Love: Scientific Insights from 21st Century Dating corroborates this. She says that the 2 major ways of finding love in the 21st century are; online matchmaking and speed dating. As simplified as these two processes sound, they are in no way that simple. This is because human nature is insatiable and could be very difficult to understand. This brings us back to the science of love. Studying human nature is paramount to finding love. Although these two avenues for finding love have led to marriages and relationships, it also serves as an avenue for scientists to understand the science of love. It helps provide important data and also helps the psychologist with his or her behavioural study about humans and love.

In conclusion, the science of love plays a large role in finding love in the 21st century as data are collected and collated for the sake of finding if ones interests match the other’s. Although scientists have discovered that such data and information collected from online dating sites might provide perfect matches but in reality, after they meet, they most likely don’t like themselves or one might no just like the other despite similar pieces of information provided that created a perfect match. This might be due to inconsistent information provided by one of the party on dating sites. To wrap it all up, the science of love has found that humans yearn for similarities in themselves. This might be the basis of a genuine relationship. The science of love is indeed an unending phenomenon as new discoveries are made everyday.

 


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