How Do You Know When You Fall in Love?

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    Sep 08, 2016 4:35 AM GMT

    NYT: In those miserable, wonderful days when love is new, when your heart pounds and your breath comes short and sharp, the only thing that matters is your beloved. News of the outside world comes as a rumor. Daily life is a melodrama, a musical, a rom-com, an epic.

    This is a story of two men in the early phase of romantic love. It begins with Evan Garland, 24, who lives in Los Angeles and works in finance and accounting for the media streaming service Hulu.

    “One thing going on in the brain in early love is that it’s a state of stress,” said Dr. Richard S. Schwartz, an associate professor of psychiatry at Harvard Medical School who has studied the biological aspects of love. “Cortisol, the major marker of stress, goes up. Serotonin, which is associated with states of well-being, goes down. Serotonin activity is also low in O.C.D., which fits with all the preoccupied thoughts you can’t get out of your mind in early love.”

    “You have no idea how many clients we see who have that question: ‘Am I really in love or not?’” said Dr. Jacqueline Olds, a fellow associate professor of psychiatry at Harvard Medical School (who is married to Dr. Schwartz). “The more intellectualized and obsessional a client is, the more they’re worried.”
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    Sep 08, 2016 6:42 PM GMT
    You know you're in love when you and your boyfriend give equal weight to each others needs.
  • Destinharbor

    Posts: 4913

    Sep 08, 2016 9:02 PM GMT
    Stress and OCD. I wouldn't have described it quite that way but I guess I can see it. The absence of Serotonin, the OCD part, mystifies me. Yes, my mind was all over the place but I was also euphoric. Not sure how that computes. But I do remember being almost irrational-- driving at 95 on my way to see him, practically sobbing at a goofy old love song on the radio after leaving him after a wonderful weekend, using a blanket to hide my hands on him on a long flight. On and on. MX5 is missing the point. He is almost right but that is in the mature phase, not the "love is new" phase.