Falling in love is like cocaine

Daniel AmenIn Wednesday’s USA Today psychiatrist Daniel Amen said, “Love is a drug. Falling in love is like taking cocaine. It works in the same center of the brain.”

We all know that falling in love is euphoric. In “The addiction of dating” I likened it to drugs. I had no idea a scientist would come to the same conclusion!

Now that we are in the height of “love season” (Valentine’s Day) most of us are thinking, at least some, about love. Whether it’s toward a sweetheart, your friends, or family, love is definitely in the air.

Most of the conversation and images about love, however, usually center on the heart. Intellectually we know that the brain is the source of our feelings of love, but we don’t say, “I gave him my brain,” we say “I gave him my heart.” Nor do we express, “I was brain broken,” but instead say “I was heart broken.”

Sex on the BrainFrom his book Sex on the Brain: 12 Lessons to Enhance Your Love Life, Dr. Amen says,

“The vast majority of love and sex occurs in the brain. Your brain decides who is attractive to you, how to get a date, how well you do on the date, what to do with the feelings that develop, how long those feelings last, when to commit, and how well you do as a partner and a parent. Your brain helps you be enthusiastic in the bedroom or drains you of desire and passion. Your brain helps you process and learn from a breakup or makes you vulnerable to depression or obsession.

brain“While plastic surgeons, diet gurus, and the pharmaceutical industry may have convinced you that they hold the secret to a fulfilling sex life, the truth is that you already have the only thing you really need: a brain. As the largest and most sensitive sexual organ in the body, a healthy human brain enhances your sex life and heightens sensation. A troubled brain, however, makes emotional and physical connection with others difficult. So forget the implants, the fad diets, and the pills. Learning about this intriguing and sexy organ is the key to your sexual satisfaction.”

Great news, huh? Instead of killing ourselves at the gym to look hot, I guess we just need to exercise our brains!

(I subsequently found another article on this, “Loving with all your … brain.”)

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