“Romantic love is an addiction. A perfectly wonderful addiction when it’s going well and a perfectly horrible addiction when it’s going poorly.”
In general, breaking up with someone makes you a crazy person.
This sounds like a sweeping statement, but we now know it is based not only on anecdotal evidence, but scientific evidence too.
Here are a few of the (very scientific) reasons that break ups can feel so tough, which can start to explain why it can feel so devastating when you end a short or longterm relationship.
(Also, as a handy bi-product of this research, you can now feel completely justified in eating three tubs of ice cream while watching six hours of Netflix on repeat post-break-up. You’re welcome.)
Love is like an addiction
Helen Fisher (a Biological Anthropologist) has studied “this madness” that is love for years.
In a Ted talk, she summed up the experience of love fairly succinctly by saying, “romantic love is an addiction. A perfectly wonderfully addiction when it’s going well and a perfectly horrible addiction when it’s going poorly.”
This addiction is formed because the area that controls reward and motivation in the brain, the ventral tegmental, is “involved in feelings of romantic love” according to Fisher’s research.
As a result of activity in the cells that make dopamine and forms the reward system, being in love can feel the same as a hit of cocaine.
Because of this, Fisher suggests that “romantic love is one of the most addictive substances on earth.”
Why you’re emotionally and physically sad when you break up
Throb recently explained that a break up can make you feel like you’re back in the early stages of a relationship with your partner.