Love is an emotion and it’s more than just a rush of chemicals. I think attraction and lust are to do with the chemicals but love is deeper than that, it’s more about finding a connection with someone.
Studies have shown that there is a stong physio-biological reason for being attracted to someone. For example, it has been suggested that we can detect whether someone would be a good mate and would produce good offspring and perhaps on a subconscious level this is a reason why we are attracted to certain people. However, for a long term relationship to work it needs more than just the chemicals. There needs to be an emotional connection as well……
You basically wonder whether feelings are just a rush of chemicals or something else – I’ll be very boring and geeky, I’d say yes. At the end, all of what we are are down to chemicals and electrical influxes – so emotions are linked to chemicals rushes. Now the interesting thing would be to know how many chemical cascades and right signals are needed to trigger feelings such as love – and I think that’s where the magic lies. The combination of right signals and right cascades is, I think, very rare 😉
To answer that question, we would also need to define “feeling”, wouldn’t we? 😉 Is a “feeling” something beyond changes in the equilibrium of chemicals, such as hormones and, as you said, serotonin, dopamine and other molecules that are active in our nervous system? Or is it something more abstract than that?…
On one hand, feelings and thoughts have a biological, physiological basis and it does come down to electric charge and chemical balance differences in our brain cells. But our interpretation of those events (based in exactly the same thing, I would have to say) can seem to be beyond that.
But even though I know that all these things come from chemical and physical changes in my brain, I still think the way we feel is very important and things like love, happiness, friendship and how we understand them are exactly what makes us human!
This doesn’t mean I’m not a romantic person – I am! 😉
I think its both! Evolutionarily, these chemicals helped keep mating pairs together to rear the offspring, giving a better chance of passing on genes. But these chemicals are part of the bigger process of love – they help people stay together (stay in love) but there’s more to love than just hormones or neurons firing 🙂