If someone checked out the activity in your brain they could tell whether you were in love or not. That’s according to Dr. Helen Fisher, the author of Why We Love. She conducted all kinds of brain scans on people in love, and out of love, and here's what she found:
First, people in love have increased activity and blood flow to certain areas of the brain. The ones that keep you focused, motivated, and boost your energy. That would explain the all-night talk sessions, endless emails and letters, and the outpouring of love-related poetry and art.
And couples who are in love get extra doses of feel-good brain chemicals. It helps couples bond and cuddle, and get mentally ready to stay together long enough to raise children.
Now that we've talked about the brain chemistry of love, let’s talk about the brain changes associated with being dumped. Dr. Fisher says there are 2 stages of rejection:
First, after you get dumped, there's the “Protest Stage.” That's when your brain gets bursts of the feel-good chemical, dopamine. It makes you feel even more passionately about your ex, because you're trying to recapture your "lost love." That’s what makes you text constantly, write pleading emails, show up unannounced, and generally make a fool of yourself. But it's a good thing. That behavior helps alienate your former love, and helps both of you move on and find new partners.
The next state of rejection is the “Resignation Stage.” That's when the dopamine levels in your brain drop off, and you feel lethargic, depressed, and highly unmotivated. But that's good, too. It helps your body rest and recover.
It all makes sense now, right? If you'd like to go further, the book is called, Why We Love, by Dr. Helen Fisher.