What is the meaning of love? I ask you not to build me up as a troubled leadership in a Rom-Com, which will learn after a series of Mondays to reopen their hearts and their love. I seriously ask: Why do we love?
Chances are that they would be an evolutionary advantage or that love with Cro-Magnon Foreheads would have disappeared. But why on earth would we evolve to be overwhelmed by an emotion that makes us act like Logan Paul in a Japanese forest, ie a completely irrational idiot?
Tina Turner is not the only one who has asked, "What does love have to do with it?" The scientists have taken a lot of time to find out the evolutionary point of love, and they've come up with some interesting theories that all start with our big heads.
Yes, it seems our oversized cranes appear to be the nexus of love. I do not mean, figuratively, how our huge egos send us looking for camaraderie. No: According to most bioanthropologists, our fat skulls literally changed our species and led to an evolutionary need. As the human upright on two legs, the shape of our pelvis changed. And with that change, we had to give birth to smaller babies, or their heads would be too big to cross the birth canal. (Are you still in love?)
However, our small pools meant babies had to be born before they could do anything. Do you ever see the birth of a baby stag? The thing rages everywhere directly from the womb . Baby deer are almost completely developed immediately after birth. Conversely, human babies are completely helpless and need a lot of time and care from their parents to go through this vulnerable stage and reach sexual maturity. We grow mainly outside the womb, a fact that has led to all kinds of benefits, but is tough on the parents.
The fact that humans are born so early in their development led to two major developments: first, since babies grow outside the womb so much that our brains can grow larger than other mammals. Secondly, the delicate life of a baby requires a lot of work and the child's survival is likely to be greater if it has two caretakers. According to an article in Perspectives on Psychological Science love acts as a "bonding tool" to motivate couple bonding, and couple bonding helps people with "the massive investment required to raise children."
But although love initially developed as a "commitment device", we would recommend against scribbling: "I'm in a commitment device" on your Valentine's Day cards.
Still, couple bonding can not explain everything about love. Luckily we can look at a similar species to learn more about our love behavior: prairie voles. When it comes to love, we are not closest to monkeys, chimpanzees or monkeys. Our behavior is similar to prairie vultures, which are essentially chubby field mice with short ears. It turns out that these wildly romantic mini-mammals by Laura Ingalls are one of the few animals that come together for a life and raise babies in a house with two parents. This means that we can learn a lot from these lovable little animals … especially if we take some time to mess up their brain chemistry.
"You might be surprised how easily you can imitate true love," says Don Vaughn, a professor of neuroscience at Santa Clara University. It is believed that the release of oxytocin and vasopressin is primarily responsible for the deep, attached feelings of romantic love. And if you block these hormones in prairie mice, "they become promiscuous almost immediately," says Vaughn.
Thus, even the prairie voles begin to die right until death separates us, as soon as oxytocin and vasopressin are out of sight. But when these hormones are stirred up on the voles, Vaughn says that "they immediately connect to the first partner they see without the need for a physical mating."
It is not so easy to turn on the love hormones In humans, it is not clear if people would behave exactly like prairie mice. However, it seems pretty clear that oxytocin and vasopressin play a big role in our romantic emotions.
So far we have found that love is mainly used to force two people to stay together so that a baby does not die, that it can go in with some hormone manipulations and the prairie rodents can be eliminated have probably better marriages than us.
Once again we strongly recommend leaving that feeling from your Valentine's cards.
Unfortunately, this love science does not become more romantic.
According to a theory postulated in an article published in Proceedings of National Academy of Sciences the main reason we have love and monogamy is in it, men do to prevent killing their babies
Primates had a real problem when mothers had to start looking after helpless babies, according to the blunt title: "Male Infanticide Causes Social Monogamy in Primates." If a mother has a baby with her at any time of the day, she probably will not take time to deal with her partner. So male primates would kill the babies so they can start the healthy bone schedule again.
But consistently killing offspring is not exactly a good way to increase long-term reproductive success. Thus, primates have developed the ability to love to deter males from killing them. If the man loved the female and loved the child, it was less likely that he would: a) abandon the mother and child, and b) kill one or both. Ah, sweet love!
It seems clear that love developed mainly as a way to keep two people together long enough to bring up a child. And although we are learning more and more about how love affects the brain, we still do not have all the answers.
One big question remains: why does love drive us so crazy? And I do not mean that. "He left comments on Stacy's Instagram, but he did not take the time to like a single image of mine, why are you doing this to me, Jim, why?!?" Kind of craziness. I mean Ka-ray zee love.
Take for example Bill and Linda Pugach. More than 50 years ago, Burt fell in love with Linda and suggested. But Linda became engaged to another man. Poor Burt did what any man would do – he hired a man who splashed lime on Linda, leaving her blind and face disfigured. And we have not even gotten into the crazy part.
After Burt spent 14 years in prison planning the attack of Linda, he came out of prison with a heart full of love. He suggested Linda again … and she said yes. They were married for 38 years until Linda died in 2013.
"Love is the only socially acceptable psychosis," said Elvin Semrad, M.D. (once cited in Psychology Today ). The researchers gave MRI scans to people who experienced the first, irrational love-throws and found that the intense emotion was not just excitement: love looked more like extreme hunger or an urge for drugs, the New York Times reports ].
"The first stage of love is marked by passion and reward, but also by symptoms of anxiety and stress that are likely to reflect the uncertainty of the relationship," says Vaughn. This leads to a reduced serotonin level (happiness) and an increased cortisol level (stress). According to Vaughn, this hormone combination is commonly found in people with anxiety disorders or OCD. "This is not surprising, since the early stages of OCD's romantic love may be somewhat similar: there are symptoms of anxiety, obsession, and intrusive thinking."
So the first stages of neurological love make you feel like a drug addict who is ready for a seizure. Cool. But it's true … I felt it. Damn, even Beyoncé was "Crazy in Love". And if Beyonce can not keep her feelings in check, we mortals have no chance.
From now on there seems to be no direct evolutionary reason why love meets us so intensely. Maybe it's because the motto of humanity seems to be big or going home.
An article in The Independent noted that humans have developed into blood lust: throughout our history, we were six times as likely to become kill each other as any other mammal. That's pretty extreme. We have also developed the most advanced language skills and have the biggest brains in the animal kingdom. With all the extra brain space we seem to feel emotions deeper and sometimes live at the very ends of the spectrum.
Love is still a bit of a mystery, but we are getting closer and closer to finding out their weird subtleties. Sure, it's based on an evolutionary need to pair and spread our genes, and our hormones are responsible for a lot of craziness, but that does not explain all the volatility and heartbreak associated with finding love.
So until we find out all that is necessary and comfort when we know that love is real and generally beneficial to us. And no matter who you are, someday we'll all feel that tingling glow and say, "Ah, so I'm in a commitment instrument."
Amber Petty is a freelance writer in Los Angeles.