Why do teenagers fall in love so easily? Scientific explanation.
Teenagers who come to me for counselling, often have concerns about their love relationship. I encourage them to speak about their issues and provide the necessary guidance. As a psychologist I would say falling in love, is part of healthy growing. As I discussed earlier, in my previous articles, according to Maslow’s hierarchy, after our physical and safety needs are met, individuals start looking for love & belongingness needs. We, adults need to equip ourselves with the necessary skills to deal with adolescents in love and guide them in the right track. First of all we need to understand the physiology behind falling in love.
Researches show that hormonal changes, triggered by brain and body developments are responsible for the intense feelings of sexual attraction and falling in love. Testosterone and oestrogen – male and female sex hormones – are associated with heightened sexual urges, while the hormones oxytocin and vasopressin are implicated in attachment and bonding.
During puberty, the volume of these circulating sex hormones in the body rises significantly. In girls, production of oestrogen is six fold and boys, produce 20 times the amount of testosterone. Emotions associated with being ‘in love’ or ‘in lust’ are likely to be confused and confusing, even overwhelming for some.
It’s not only the sex hormones that are involved in falling in love. Research says that when a person falls in love, brain works to release euphoria-inducing chemicals such as dopamine, adrenaline and serotonin. Adrenaline is a stress hormone, causing sweating, heart palpitations and dry mouth – just catching a glimpse of the new love can trigger these bodily sensations. Dopamine stimulates desire and pleasurable feelings, and has been described as a ‘feel good’ hormone with similar effects to the drug cocaine. The serotonin level is associated with those constant thoughts about the loved one that are part of being ‘love struck’.
This is why falling in love becomes such a pleasurable experience for the individual going through it. Especially during adolescence, teenagers are newly exposed to these physical and psychological changes and find it very difficult to handle them.
Swathi Priya. P