Can you revive the spark in a long-term relationship? Science reveals all

Sarah Gomillion (TC) : At the beginning of a romantic relationship, passion is not in short supply. The thrills of learning all about your beloved, sharing new experiences, and having plenty of sex, create an exhilarating state of desire and romantic love. In fact, a number of scientific studies have shown that this kind of love actually changes the chemistry of the brain, making us temporarily addicted to our partner.

Five years ago, we would actually be having a conversation. Aleksandar Todorovic

Five years ago, we would actually be having a conversation. Aleksandar Todorovic

But this flame typically dims over time, and a different – perhaps deeper – emotion takes over. Research has shown that this so-called “attachment phase” is linked to a decrease in “pleasure” hormones like dopamine and serotonin and a boost in “bonding chemicals” like oxytocin. Given these extreme physical changes, is it possible for someone in a long-term relationship to revert back to being infatuated, say, in time for Valentine’s day?

Love on the brain

The physiological basis of love and infatuation has been studied a lot. In one study, researchers used fMRI, which measures brain activity by looking at changes in blood flow, to scan participants who had recently fallen in love while they looked at pictures of their partners.

It found that, compared to when they looked at photos of neutral acquaintances, participants showed greater activation in areas of the brain, like the dopamine-rich ventral tegmental area that is associated with reward seeking and goal pursuit, while looking at their beloved. These same brain regions are also activated after receiving an injection of cocaine or eating chocolate, suggesting that passionate love produces a “high” that we seek out again and again.

But as anyone who has

Source Article from http://nsnbc.me/2016/02/14/can-you-revive-the-spark-in-a-long-term-relationship-science-reveals-all/

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