Why are we so miserable after a breakup, why do we have no control over what we do to reduce our intelligence, and what can we do to adjust to the breakup faster, rebuild our lives, and prepare for the most important part of getting back together?
Neuroscientist Dr. Rhonda Freeman suggests that there are at least 6 systems in our brain that are affected during the process of falling in love to falling out of love. I will share today 3 of the most important brain systems that cause us to fall out of love and behave in a demoralizing way.
The first is the most widely known: the reward system.
1. The reward system
According to anthropologist Dr. Helen Fisher and others, love is an addictive behavior from the perspective of brain science. How so?
When we first fall in love, the brain’s reward system is activated, dopamine levels rise, and we experience an extreme pleasure. The treating system, as the name implies, is the idea that we will give an action in order to get a certain reward. The reward system makes us feel like: falling in love is so happy, I want to be this happy forever.
This time dopamine will continue to secrete, so what we want to want, in order to continue to have this reward of pleasure, the reward system will instruct us to repeat to do this thing, that is, the relationship for more and more investment, crazy for each other, for each other to do a lot of things that we once did not dare to think about.
This crazy state of wanting each other in a passionate relationship is similar to the principle of alcohol and drug addiction in terms of brain activity.
Since falling in love is similar to addictive behavior, then once we fall out of love, the pain we feel is as painful as the withdrawal reaction to addiction.
When we first fall out of love, the dopamine that controls our desire to be in love continues to increase, which makes us want the other person back even more.
After a while, dopamine levels drop and we experience very painful emotions such as loss, emptiness, and depression.
2. Attachment system
The attachment system mainly controls our sense of connection and intimacy in intimate relationships, and one of the main hormones at play in this system is called oxytocin.
Oxytocin is also known as the love hormone, for example, when a mother breastfeeds her baby, she secretes a lot of oxytocin, which promotes the connection and trust between the mother and the child. In love, this love hormone is of course also produced between two people who are close together, making us feel warm, belonging, and safe and connecting two people tightly together.
When we develop this sense of connection with the person we love, the boundaries between you and me become less clear and the concept of self slowly begins to change from I to we.
The attachment system and the reward system work together to make us feel in the moment that we will never love again, that we will never meet anyone better, and then frantically, even without regard to dignity, we want to get our ex back.
The brain can lead us to believe that the past love is too good and too rare and that we love each other too much to be like this.
But in fact, research has proven that whether a happy relationship ends or a bad relationship ends, people who have fallen out of love will also have the same desire not to leave the other person and want to get back. In other words, we can’t let go of the other person not necessarily out of good love, it may just be that these hormones are messing up.
3. Cognitive system
Many people find that when they fall out of love, they can not concentrate, forget, confused thoughts can not think clearly about any problem, to make a lot of unintelligent behavior – in fact, this is a normal phenomenon.
Under the high-pressure stimulus of love loss, our brain gives most of its resources to our emotional system and allocates far fewer resources to the cognitive system, so it is no wonder that we are demoralized.
From a brain science perspective, when we first fall out of love, those happy hormones disappear, the brain is unable to adapt to the transition, and we develop a series of intense painful reactions. But over time, with the adjustment of our sanity, this intense reaction will eventually return to calm and all our pain will slowly dissipate.
Some people can come out of a breakup after a month or two, but others are still in the shadow of their ex even for years – whether you decide to get back or want to start a new life, we all need to recover from such a negative state first so that we can make effective decisions.