It’s time to solve some of the mysteries of love and romance, and use science to examine everything from why we fall hard for certain people, to why we cheat.
First: Do looks count? Yes. Dr. Helen Fisher is a professor of anthropology at Rutgers University. And she says you’re more likely to fall for someone who has the same looks, social status, and economic background that you do, because “perceived equality” helps create a stable union. But once you’ve passed surface issues into personality types, opposite tend to attract, because humans like a mystery and a challenge.
Another scientific fact: Love isn’t blind – but once you’re hooked, your vision gets cloudy. When you look at someone you love, chemicals dull the part of your brain connected to negativity and critical judgment. So, you’re aware of their flaws, but your brain says it’s okay to ignore them. And when you fall out of love, those flaws become glaringly obvious.
Okay, so can love be addictive? Yes. People who have recently fallen in love have strong activity in the area of the brain associated with addictive behavior. Similar to what happens to gamblers and drug addicts. Studies also show that when people fall in love, their levels of feel-good serotonin drop 40-percent. Which makes you crave togetherness, and adds a dash of obsessive–compulsive disorder – which is why you can’t seem to stop thinking about your new love.
Finally, what causes people to cheat? Experts say that 3 different parts of the brain deal with attraction, attachment, and romantic love, which makes it possible to be attracted to one person, but want to spend your life with another.