Sometimes in life, there can be too much of a good thing, right? When you’re in a relationship, whether it is a brand-new romance or a long-term companionship, it can be very easy to fall deep into the habit of becoming each other’s everything. You may find yourself spending days with them but still feeling like you’ve not spent enough time together…does that sound familiar?
Wanting to be with someone morning, noon and night is a fluffy thought, especially in a romantic novel or film, but unfortunately, this type of intense love can cause some damage to you and your partner's wellbeing. Of course, enjoying each other’s company is important, but when you become each other’s everything, what does it mean for you both as individuals, your health and the other relationships in your life?
Having some quality time with yourself is just as, if not more important, too. At the start, when you’re getting to know each other, it can become rather intoxicating to spend every moment with them. Everything is new and exciting, but what if you’re neglecting a very important person while focusing on someone else…you!
Turns out, it isn’t your fault that your significant other has become your new favorite thing, it is all down to your hormones, emotions and certain chemicals in your brain…
The Science Of Love
When we meet someone we like, our bodies actively change the more we fall in love. You see, due to the hormones in our bodies, our priorities change – not just in our minds, but in our daily functions too...
The first stages of a relationship normally affect the desire for sexual gratification. We get a rush of hormones flooding our bodies with intense desire; adrenaline and norepinephrine, which cause the heart to race and your palms to sweat. That instant attraction can manifest suddenly and urge our bodies to sexually desire someone, resulting in a strong sense of lust and an easy transition into attraction, attachment, and obsession.
Lust grows due to the chemical dopamine – the pleasure hormone in the brain, which creates a euphoria similar to the effects of drugs, leaving many of us experiencing obsessive thoughts and an illusion of a craving, very much like an addiction. Neuroscience research has proven that as we begin to experience the sense of lust and love, our bodies will literally react the same as it would to a chemical addiction to a drug – falling in love will activate the same systems in your brain as it would to cocaine addiction. Dr. Helen Fisher believes that romantic love can be one of the most addictive obsessions .
Oxytocin – the love hormone - is also produced in large quantities, as well as both sex hormones; estrogen and testosterone. As these hormones all build together, our bodies are left feeling fuzzy, fluttery and bursting with attraction, euphoria and an overwhelming sense of excitement. The downside is that while you’re experiencing these rushes of hormones, your body is neglecting other important functions…
When we are in the attraction stage of a relationship, a part of our brain activates that mimics the same effects as Morphine. The opioid system fires up when we feel romantic love or find someone attractive, resulting in our bodies feeling the same as if we had taken heroin or an opioid pain killer. It is believed by some scientists that this reaction has developed and evolved over the centuries to help us choose the best mate – the better we feel about someone, the higher the potential for greater offspring.
With the same chemical reaction as taking an opioid drug, it is no wonder we can become fixated and addicted to a new partner. Our hormones are in overdrive, filling our bodies with endorphins and adrenaline. This powerful intoxication makes us feel amazing, creating a need to feel it again and again. Unfortunately, just like while in the state of lust, your body will be neglecting other daily functions needed; collagen production, keratin development, and melatonin – damaging your skin, hair, and sleep.
Also, the levels of serotonin will decrease during these periods of attraction, as the blood flow to the brain will increase. This drop of serotonin matches that of those attached to Obsessive-Compulsive Disorders (OCD), explaining why many couples become single-minded and only concentrate on each other.
After a period of time, the body will begin to tolerate the constant bombardment of pleasure hormones and chemicals, resulting in an influx of more stable functions. As the adrenaline, oxytocin and sex hormones begin to calm, your body will stabilize and your reaction to your partner will become less intense.
This is when then you may find that the relationship may begin to form a co-dependency and attachments. As things in your life begin to show trouble, you will both lean on each other for support, comfort, and guidance. Although this can also be seen as working together as a team, the dependency on each other can create an unhealthy relationship, putting too much pressure on one another.
Finding Yourself In The Relationship…
While your body is reacting in a way that you can’t control, finding and making time for yourself is incredibly important. With all the hormones and emotions taking over your body, supporting it externally and emotionally will give you tools to combat the negative effects of falling in love.
Take Some 'You Time'
Taking some time for yourself to be alone during these stages of love can do wonders for your mental health and physical health. You see, if you’re keeping some space between each time you see each other, the intense (and sometimes overwhelming) reactions to seeing that certain person will calm down, leaving your body to function properly. Having a few evenings or weekends to focus on you can help you build a strong foundation and give your body some time to unwind and stabilize.
Pamper Your Body
With all the changes of hormones and imbalance of chemicals in your body, your skin, hair and sleeping pattern can seriously take a hit when you fall in love. During your 'you time', treat yourself to a facial using a Stem Cell Face Mask or a Hair Mask. While you’re feeling these emotions, your hair and skin will need a little extra boost to fight the daily aggressors that can encourage premature aging and hair loss. As your hormones behave in a way that makes you feel love and affection, you may also struggle to sleep and eat, which will negatively affect your skin and hair, so it is extremely important to give yourself the tools to stop these dangers.
Falling in love and finding an incredible bond with someone is incredible, but the last thing you want to do is to lose yourself in the process. Balance is key when it comes to maintaining a healthy relationship, which means it is so important to make sure that you are making time for yourself. Without this crucial balance, you could find yourself in a vulnerable, co-dependent state, unable to know how to look after number one. Our hormones have a lot to blame for our obsessive behavior, but if you make sure that you remember to spend as much time with yourself as you do with your significant other, you will find yourself in a very healthy relationship with the best version of yourself.