Monday, March 25, 2013


Love is a concept that has always attracted debates since the ancient days of human being existence. There are many narratives, many almost unbelievable of people who did extraordinary things all in the name of love. The popular story of Romeo and Juliet by Shakespeare is just a single example of many other similar occurrences in different human civilizations. Try as they may, no thinkers or academicians have been able to explain the biology that stipulates who individuals fall in love with. In recent days, there has occurred a renewed interest in the role that biology determines who an individual will fall in love with; this is commonly referred to as the biology of love. This is a relatively new field whose concepts have not been satisfactorily confirmed by effective research. Nevertheless, the neuro-biological processes involved with the dynamic of love have been ascertained as fulfilling a myriad of human biological functions; in such sense, then, I believe that biology has a propensity to influence the process of falling in love amongst human beings.
According to Fischer (2004), and I agree with her, most of the activities involved in the process of falling in love are indeed biological. When an individual finds a person that they are sexually attracted to and they fall in love with them, there are a series of biological process that influence and support the process at the same time. There are three bodily chemicals that are released in the body of an individual falling in love; these are norepinephrine, dopamine and serotonin. I remember the first time I felt in love; more often than not, I’d be in a state of exhilaration always thinking about the object of my fancy. It was also not uncommon to lose sleep and the desire for food as I fantasized about my next encounter with the object of my love. According to Fischer (2004), such feelings are usually as a result of the escalated production of the norepinephrine and dopamine chemicals in the brain of a person in love. In addition to this, the activities that are involved in the falling in love and choice of partner process are mostly biological; these are sexual arousal and attraction, feelings of attachment to the object of love and the romantic love itself (Romesin and Verden-Zoller, 1996).
I believe that love is biological due to the fact that it is established upon the foundation of actions that take place in the brain; such activities include the neurobiological experiences of happiness, trust and feelings of contentment that accompany the feeling of love. According to Esch and Stefano (2005) the biological chemicals involved in this process of being in love include dopamine, oxytocin and vasopressin. The human being is exposed to the biology of love from its first few seconds of life. This is evident in both humans and animals. Immediately after bearing a child, a normal woman instinctively feels a very strong sense of love for a child which propels her to protect and take care of her child. These biological emotions or sentiments drive her to hug, kiss, hold and cherish her child. It is from this biological love that a human being is exposed to by the people around them that enables them to cultivate and develop a sense of concern for the welfare and safety of others around them. As stated by Romesin and Verden-Zoller (1996) human beings are by nature both sensual and sexual; as a consequence, from the very first time a human being is brought forth into the world through birth, they need to receive and be allowed an opportunity to give love to others. Being deprived of love or an opportunity to extend one’s love to others has been widely quoted by many a psychologists and experts of human behavior as being responsible for deviance and criminal conduct among the victims of such misfortune.
But does biology indeed have a significant role to play in the determination of who we fall in love with? Since time immemorial, both human beings and animals have depicted certain preferences for their choice of mating partners. I find it very interesting that in the choice of sexual partners, human beings have a propensity to be very selective and biased. Esch and Stefano (2005) assert that an individual tends to be romantically and sexually attracted to others whose testosterone, body odor, estrogen and chemical profiles fit with theirs. Biology influences an individual’s pattern of falling in love as well as the person they fall in love with in particular ways. Firstly, the endearments that a child first receives biologically from their parents, particularly the mother, is also very significant in the patterns that they will form not only in falling in love, but also in the cultivation of social relationships with other people in the society. In the process of falling in love, sexual attraction plays a very important role in determining the choice of partner; as a matter of fact, the experiences I have observed from people close to me a certain that one cannot fall in love with a person whom they are not sexually attracted to. Secondly, as stated by Romesin and Verden-Zoller (1996), sexual attractiveness is for a large part biological and physical in nature. Since individuals tend to fall in love with individuals they find sexually attractive, biology is perceived as, in one way or another, influencing the process as well as the choice of partners in romantic love relationships.
According to the principles of natural science, falling in love is perceived as a very significant step since it leads to coupling. There are many advantages of coupling. The first obvious one is that it allows for procreation to occur and thus ensures the continuity of the human race. As stated by Esch and Stefano (2005) the psychological and behavioral aspects of falling in love indicate that individuals tend to seek the approval of the people that they love. In such light, an individual will most likely be attracted to and fall in love with a person whom they envision as possessing qualities that are very valuable to them. From a personal experience, I concur that in their choice of which individuals to fall with human beings tend to be attracted to individuals whose behaviors, physical qualities and social mannerisms match to those they desire in their ‘ideal’ partners. As already stated by Fischer (2004) when the dopamine chemical in the bodies of humans is increased, an inclination towards certain preferences in an individual’s choice of mate occurs.
In conclusion, the issues concerning love are not ones that can be easily understood or explained; this is because the feelings of excitement, euphoria and happiness that are associated with it, love also has a propensity to cause much pain, hatred and bitterness especially when the object of one’s love does not love them back. Despite the fact that biology has a lot to do with the process of falling in love and choice of mate, there are still many queries about love that remain a mystery: These include whether love can last forever and whether it is possible to fall romantically in love with more than one person at the same time.

Esch, T. and Stefano, G. B. (2005): ‘The Neurobiology of Love’ Neuro-endocrinology Letters
No.3 June Vol.26

Fisher, H. (2004):Biology: Your Brain in Love’ The Times Magazine

Romesin, H. M. and Verden-Zoller, G. (1996): ‘The Biology of Love’ Munchen