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Physical Addiction to Love and Resulting Withdrawals

Updated on December 5, 2012

What is Love

Love is the single most sought after element on Earth. We as humans find that without love, our existence becomes benign. We search for love at social events, in stores, in school, in books and even in cyber-space. What is it we are all looking for and are we all looking for the same thing? Why is love so important to our happiness and sense of well being? So many questions and so few answers. There would seem to be a spiritual, transcendent sense of tenderness felt towards a person who triggers your love-interests. The feeling becomes exciting and fierce when the love is returned. Seeking and hunting all for the sake of romance. Without this type of connection the human being can become fraught with depression and insignificance. To pair, and to pair well, creating the socialization of companionship is the reason for the divine encounter of love all together.

...separation can appear to be like that of a drug withdrawal.

Chemistry of Love Graphic
Chemistry of Love Graphic | Source

That Thing We Call Love

"Love is that thing, that taste, the texture, the smell and desire that reaches our mind, encroaching on our soul to such a degree that should we move too slowly or move too quickly it may wonder away and find another place to perch. If Love comes close enough for you to imagine its grace, grab it, hold it, drink it in as if you will never have the chance to do so again, is not for wasting, it is for devouring and offering, yet not squandered away on a moment of indiscretion. Take love, own love, be love and you have found the reason, the only reason you were given life to begin with" —India Dee—

Poster Style art of turkey a cold sandwich
Poster Style art of turkey a cold sandwich | Source

Love is a Cold Turkey Sandwich?

Do We Withdrawl from love?

To Pair: The coupling that comforts and assures us that we belong and are loved.

Once we are coupled in love, what if temporary or (God forbid) permanent separation occurs? Actual studies have been conducted on the subject, where it's discovered that separation from a partner and the resulting anxiety that can accompany it, have physical repercussions. In many ways, separation from the one you love can act like that of a drug withdrawal. Your human chemistry reacts as if you were going 'cold turkey' (not the cold turkey you'll find on the dinner table following thanksgiving, but rather the cold turkey that is found when one abruptly stops addictive drug consumption leaving the human body devoid of ingredients it has come to rely on or crave).

The way we respond to, and the patterns we display in both parental and romantic bonding are similar, if not exact.

Why do we encounter withdrawal symptoms when separated from the one we love? Past Studies have shown that, in loyal monogamous humans, who cohabitate and are intimate (sexual) together, register with higher levels of oxytocin and vasopressin—hormones that foster emotional attachments— and activate brain areas associated with reward. The resulting affects of even short term separation from our loved one, are not unlike withdrawal-like symptoms. It seems that in this short term event the natural response has consistently measured to suggest that the event causes an aversive state so that we want to seek out the one we love most to hold that bond together.


Colorful brain activity occurs when love is on the mind!
Colorful brain activity occurs when love is on the mind!

The Real Chemistry of Love

Oh, That Beautiful Thing Called Cortisol

In a recent study of human couples, conducted at the University of Utah by social psychologist Lisa Diamond, these withdrawal-like symptoms were evident. Such symptoms like irritability and sleep difficulties, and even increased amounts of cortisol—the primary catabolic hormone in the body. It is released during long periods of stress, sports or trauma. It is responsible for controlling inflammation and suppressing the immune response. It also has an effect on the fat storage response in the body—have been detected when couples are separated four to seven days. The subjects that reported higher anxiety regarding their relationships offered the largest spike in cortisol levels. But even the subjects who reported lower levels of stress and anxiety issues during the separation registered some measure of increased cortisol and physical discomfort. is something to gaze upon with wonder and amazement.

The findings? The results would indicate an actual link between separation and increased production of the hormone cortisol, which implies that cortisol-blocking medications might just benefit people struggling to deal with separation anxiety. In extreme situations where separation can not be avoided, medications to subdue the resulting anxiety could make for better results and outcome for many professions and situations. This could include military personnel, astronauts, those grieving the death of a partner or even those traveling for work, to name a few. it would seem, is a very powerful drug!

Okay, so we react chemically around our lover, then you may ask, what started all of this chemical reaction in the first place? It is likely that this pair-bonding was evolved from the parent-child bond, which may actually be why we are so intensely attached to our romantic partners. The same exact neurochemicals—oxytocin, vasopressin and dopamine—are noted in both types of relationships. The way we respond to, and the patterns we display in both parental and romantic bonding are similar if not exact. "We think about parent-child relationships and adult romantic relationships as being fundamentally different," Diamond explains, "but it really boils down to the same functional purpose: creating a psychological drive to be near the other person, to want to take care of them, and being resistant to being separated from them." Love is that burn of chemicals that settles in our brains driving us into the arms of that person we literally cannot be without.

Longivity of true love
Longivity of true love

Losing Love is Painful

How Does Love Relate to Physical Pain?

A study conducted by UCLA recently found that the near sight of a loved one can lessen your pain. Women who are in long-term relationships were gathered together along with their partners to conduct a study on love and how love relates to pain. These women were subjected to a bearable but unpleasant burning sensation, or pain. Then, each woman was asked to rate her pain intensity on a scale while holding her lovers hand. The results, well they were very surprising to say the least.

The women who were holding their lovers hand were registering much lower pain ratings than when they held the hand of a stranger or something inanimate (i.e., stuffed animals or letters). Similarly, when they were shown just the picture of the person they love the registered results were the same as when they were holding their loved one's hand, even while the burning sensation remained active. As mentioned before, love it would seem, is a very powerful drug!

Love has the same effect as taking a Tylenol . Or according to anthropologist Helen Fisher, who studied love for years, "It's better than Tylenol!" She says affairs of the heart are often functions of the brain. "The brain is built to respond," Fisher said. "We are an animal that is built to love. We are built to love." What a beautiful statement. Something I have long felt to be the fact, but nothing had been proved regarding the issue until now.

Fisher and colleagues conducted brain scans on long-term couples (folks in love for decades). They discovered that the near sight of your long-term love causes the same chemical reaction as found in new love. Fisher's team deemed that new love, rejected love and long-term love, all cause the same region of the brain to react by making dopamine—a central nervous system neurotransmitter essential in the control of emotions, perception and movement; it also acts as a hormone. Simply put, one of the parts of the brain that involves the rewards and cravings action gets a big dose of the chemical dopamine when something good happens to you (like eating a piece of chocolate) or when you see your true love, regardless of how many years you have been together.

"Ever has it been that love knows not its own depth until the hour of separation." -Kahlil Gibran-

Fisher teamed-up with neurologist Lucy Brown of the Albert Einstein College of Medicine in New York and together they scanned college students who were passionately in young love. They recognized that the portion of the brain that makes true love so durable is the part that also makes rejection so horrible.

"When you've been dumped, you're still madly in love with the person," Brown related. "As a matter of fact, looking at a picture of the person still brings you some reward. And that's part of the problem. I wish it didn't!"

Stripping is all about rhythm...of many types!
Stripping is all about rhythm...of many types!

Stripping for Love—of money

Stripping is not always about Rhythm, or is it?

Due to the demands of college tuition, lacking other skills, minimal education or simply for the love of dancing, many beautiful women decide to strip for a living. A significant study was conducted on the amount of money these women could make during different weeks of the month. A strange, but not so surprising event takes place.

The weeks when a stripper works and the amount of tips she makes during those weeks compared to when her menstrual cycle occurred shows a significant scientific result. The times when a stripper was most fertile, when her fertility was at its apex, is the time when her tips went through the roof. When the strippers were not likely to conceive, the tips were far, far less. It just goes to show you that when it comes to love, we are not always truly aware as to why we are attracted to another person, but our brains definitely stay alert, keeping us in the game of love and fully on task.

Long term love advice

The success of love depends on a math formula and ratios?
The success of love depends on a math formula and ratios?

The Formula for Love: 5 to 1

Mathematically Predicting Whether Love Will Last 5 to 1

We have discussed passion, chemistry, and hormones, when it comes to the subject of love. Now let's get into the mathematics of love. There is an actual mathematical ratio that can predict whether love is going to last; that formula is 5 to 1, five positive interactions to every one negative. Simply using words of reassurance regularly (or at least 5 to 1) is highly protective of your loving partnership. A sweet pat on the back or a gentle squeeze of the hand or saying, "baby, you look great today" or "wow, I am so proud of you" and even "I like that haircut." Successful partnerships mange to make these remarks on at least a 5 to 1 ratio (simply put, say at least 5 good comments to your partner for every one negative comment and you are on your way to life-long and loving partnership).

Sweet and Inspirational Love Quotes Throughout Time

  • "Love is the strongest force the world possesses, and yet it is the humblest imaginable." -Mahatma Gandhi-
  • "Love is the hammer that will break the hardest heart." -Unknown-
  • "He who loves best his fellow-man, is loving God the holiest way he can." -Alice Cary-
  • "Love and you will be loved, and you will be able to do all that you could not do unloved." -Marques De Santillana-
  • "Whom we love best, to them we say least." -English Proverb-
  • "Love is the doorway through which the human soul passes from selfishness to service." -Unknown-
  • "The way to love anything is to realize that it might be lost." -Gilbert Chesterton-
  • "Love is always bestowed as a gift -- freely, willingly, and without expectation...We don't love to be loved; we love to love." -Leo Buscaglia-
  • "Peace will come when the power of love overcomes the love of power." -Jimmy Hendrix-
  • "Love is, above all, the gift of oneself." -Jean Anouilh-

  • "We're very thankful for each other, still feel that," "And the older you grow, and the longer you have the relationship, the more you realize how fortunate you are to have a partner like this." -Phil Weiner-
  • "To me, she's like half of my life, without her, I could not survive." -Unknown-
  • "In real love you want the person's good. In romantic love, you want the other person." -Margaret Anderson-
  • "The best proof of love is trust" -Dr. Joyce Brothers-
  • "Absence diminishes small loves and increases great ones, as the wind blows out the candle and fans the bonfire." -Francois Duc De La Rochefoucauld-
  • "The greatest happiness of life is the conviction that we are loved - loved for ourselves, or rather, loved in spite of ourselves." -Victor Hugo-
  • "Ever has it been that love knows not its own depth until the hour of separation." -Kahlil Gibran-
  • "Love ia an act of endless forgiveness, a tender look which becomes a habit." -Peter Ustinov-
  • "Couples who love each other tell each other a thousand things without talking." -Chinese Proverb-

Our Amazing Hearts

What a remarkable heart we carry within our construct. It functions as a pump to deliver a much needed chemical supply throughout our bodies as well as maintaining a deep loving and caring bond between those we consider to be our very own. Whether looking at love from a scientific point of view or from a romantic point of view, it is something to gaze upon with wonder and amazement. --India Dee--


Is love a spiritual creation or one of evolution and survival?

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