A late night thought turned into a day time analysis, so here we go.
If you’ve been in love, the hook up culture just isn’t going to cut it, and here’s why:
Let’s start with the basic chemistry. The parts of the brain used when you’re in love and when you’re just plain aroused are different.
A study done in 2005 at SUNY Stony Brook analyzed how love and lust only partially overlap in the brain. Other functions associated with both do not overlap at all. For example, being in love activates the right side of your brain, or your more creative side. However, when subjects stared at someone they found to be physically attractive, but were not emotionally attached to, the left brain showed more activity.
Why might this be? Think about sex versus love. A hookup is about the hunt. It is analytical, daring, and requires a game plan (or a ton of tequila). Love is more about trust, spontaneity, and raw emotion. Left brain is your hunter, your analyst. And right brain sits in the corner picking petals off of daisies humming, “he loves me, he loves me not.”
So if they aren’t as connected as we seem to believe, why is it that hookups just don’t cut it after love? Simple. Sex lights up your pleasure centers, but only briefly. Being in love stimulates the some of the same pleasure centers, but more intensely and over a longer period of time. Actually, being in love affects your brain similarly to addiction. And any addict can tell you, nothing beats that first high.
This doesn’t even include the science of how freaking awesome cuddling is. Like, if you’ve had your hair played with by someone you love as the sun comes up on a Sunday morning, you know nothing beats that. NOTHING. Not even a steamy hook up with the cute boy from coms class (is sub-blogging a thing?).
So go to your parties, drink your tequila, and kiss that person that you actually can’t stand when you’re sober. But your brain knows better, and you’ll feel that PLUS the hangover in the morning.