Is there such a thing as a dating love/high?
There’s no doubt that there is such a thing as a high especially at the beginning of a relationship. Some people enjoy that initial rush so much that they become first date addicts! A first date is a bit like an actor going on stage for a first performance. The first night is when they get the biggest rush. Many actors say that the first night is often their best performance because they’re in that heightened state. All the other performances will induce some rush but not to the same level.
The scientific bit
Every time we encounter a new situation such as a first date, our body prepares us by releasing a number of chemicals into our bloodstream. Adrenaline is the hormone which creates the ‘fight or flight’ response – it increases our heart rate; constricts the blood vessels and dilates our air passages which induces the feeling of light headedness and butterflies in the stomach.
Combined with the adrenalin, there’s also a release of endorphins into the brain. This chemical is produced by the pituitary gland during periods of excitement or stress and resembles opiates in its ability to produce natural pain relief and feelings of well being. It also makes people feel powerful, confident and filled with optimism.
It’s not just a first date that can induce this high. The beginning of a relationship is filled with firsts – the first kiss; first night together; first holiday etc, so this heady experienced is recreated over and over again and gives the feeling of falling in love.
At the beginning even thinking about your new love can induce the chemical release and you feel on an almost permanent high because you rarely think about anything else. This ‘honeymoon phase’ does eventually pass, but while you’re in it the high is real and lasting and is likely to affect every part of your life in a positive way.
Relief of loneliness
According t o American psychiatrist, Scott Peck, another reason we get this high is because when we meet someone we connect with we get temporary relief from the loneliness that is a natural part of the human experience. It’s this loneliness that often propels us to look for a partner in the first place – we want to merge our lives with another in order to feel whole or complete.
In his book, The Road Less Travelled, Peck says, ‘The essence of the phenomenon of falling in love is a sudden collapse of a section of an individual’s ego boundaries, permitting one to merge his or her identity with that of another person. The sudden release of oneself into the beloved, and the dramatic surcease of loneliness accompanying this collapse of ego boundaries is experienced by most of us as ecstatic. We and our beloved are one! Loneliness is no more!’
Again this is a temporary feeling which has the biological function of making us feel sexually attracted to someone – nature’s way of ensuring we procreate. Like the chemical highs these feeling often pass, but if the relationship continues they form the foundation of real and lasting love.
Fall in love today
You don’t necessarily have to meet a new partner to experience these highs. Engaging in new activities; challenging yourself to do things that you’re afraid of or making connections with new friends can all give you highs and enrich your life.
Opening your heart and making a concerted effort to see the world as though you’re in love – focusing on the good and positive aspects of people and situations – will induce many of the same feelings and also make you more attractive to others.
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