Turns out Ke$ha was actually right: Your love is my drug. Or my love is your drug. Whichever way you spin it, we now know not only what happens to your brain when you fall in love, but also how quickly it happens. This isn’t the first time that science has demystified the mystery of love: Researchers have delved into relationship science to say what makes a happy partnership, and even determined how proposing affects your heart rate. And now, we’re one step closer to making knowledge = power = L-O-V-E, with a new study conducted by researchers at Syracuse University.
The study found that it takes all but one-fifth of a second after looking at someone for euphoria-inducing chemicals to be released in the brain — the same effect as a hit of cocaine (Ke$ha REALLY wasn’t kidding).
These chemicals affect 12 different areas of the brain, and are complex enough to give way to different types of love: primarily, passionate and companionate love. Passionate love is the initial rush to the head (literally), and companionate love can actually grow between couples over time. This means that falling in love at first sight is actually feasible: The same hormones released upon first looking at your S.O. are also released when simply thinking about them.
“These results show that love is more than a basic emotion,” the researchers said in the study. “Love is also a complex function including appraisals, goal-directed motivation, reward, self-representation and body image.”
So next time you find a cutie on Tinder, consider meeting them in person — you never know what they’ll do to your brain!
How long did it take you to fall in love? Let us know @BritandCo!
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