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The Neuroscience of ‘Genuine’ Love – And What Love Quotes Say!

Everyone has ideas about love; for human beings, it is a lifelong preoccupation. The love relationship is unique in that, across cultures, nothing drives otherwise normal human beings to do crazy things than the quest for a love bond in a couple relationship.

What is genuine love, however?

It has many attributes. One experience of love is, as Mark Twain describes, “the irresistible desire to be irresistibly desired.” Recent findings in neuroscience would agree with Mr. Twain’s statement. Romantic attraction appears to release the same levels, if not higher, of dopamine and oxytocin into the bloodstream as drugs.

Genuine love, however, is all encompassing. It mirrors the attributes of human nature at its best.

Love is the only sane and satisfactory answer to the problem of human existence,” says psychological theorist Eric Fromm. It’s something that “stretches your heart and makes you big inside,” notes poet and author Margaret Walker.

An even more far reaching view says that,

Love has no awareness of merit or demerit; it has no scale… Love loves; this is its nature.” ~ HOWARD THURMAN

Attributes of a genuine love are ones that reflect our human nature. We are relationship beings, hardwired with inborn strivings for empathic connection.

7 Comments to
The Neuroscience of ‘Genuine’ Love – And What Love Quotes Say!

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  1. Dear Dr. Staik,
    Just a fabulous piece. Well written and all encompassing. At age 52 with my life experiences I found the article to be quite my experiences. From Chemistry, Infidelity to Spirituality and everything in between. Had I a bit more sense at a younger age I would have been able to avoid some of hurt I inflicted on others and invariably on myself. Ahh.. but i am much more teachable now. for me spirituality is the keystone to not harming any human being it invokes a form of love directed at all.Thank you Mary

    • How lovely to hear from you Mary, and to learn your path has taken you to a “teachable place,” where you now see spirituality as ‘the keystone” to an all-embracing love. So agree… Thanks again for commenting.

  2. Excellent article. Thank you.

  3. I really liked the article, and hope to make my marriage better by understanding our love better… this just might change the dynamics of our relationship!

    • Thanks for the feedback, Vanessa. Glad to know you’ve found the article helpful in understanding and perhaps even changing some dynamics in your marriage relationship. Thanks again!

  4. It’s all very nice and high-minded, but where is neuroscience in it?

    • Hi, Tamara. Thanks for the comment and question. For more on neuroscience aspects see other posts, and also in a couple of links I’ve included. Thanks for stopping by to comment!

  5. As a psychologist and as a man I’ve discovered that genuine love is absolutely controlled by the superior sex (females). One example: Valentine Day is always a ONE SIDED AFFAIR. There are very few women who grow up and are permanently in love with a man. Women don’t even like sex, it is merely a tool and does not foster love in them. Women love SHOES and men never attain such status. The science, the research is all pasttimes to avoid the real issue of genuine love which never has permanancy in Women towards men. Sorry guys, women Love things not Men!

    • Appreciate your stopping by to comment, M.A. Davis, though I hold a differing view of men and women as human beings above all, who are wired with circuitry for caring and empathic connection, thus, love that is one sided is not genuine love at all, and rather a set up for resentment.

    • It’s a shame you’ve had to suffer in this way, but one woman is not the representative for all of them. In the same way that you’d most likely not want to be thrown into the category of “dog” or “player” or “sex crazed and unfaithful”, not all women are “gold diggers” love things over men. In fact, I’d say none of them do but they hold fast to materialism in order to protect themselves and keep people from getting close to them.

      In a similar way that a man may get into porn due to it feeling “safe” and uncomplicated by a real personality, women may take the same pleasure in addictive buying. Some men do this too. There are a lot of people in the world who don’t know how to let down their walls and thus prevent themselves from maturing. Some people become obsessed with sex, some buys things, some get lost in the lives of their children, some horde dogs and cats.

      Suffering is a human problem and we learn all sorts of ways to medicate it. Gender is just one factor that may shape the ways we tend our wounds, but it is not a clear predictor nor an inevitability that one group will choose one way to soothe over an other.

Comments: 1 2


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