No wonder countless songs — and an entire day in February — pay tribute to romance. But there’s more science than magic in that euphoria. When we’re first in love, it’s a bit like being on crack. Brain chemicals give us an unbelievable lift. Dopamine provides a feeling of pleasure, serotonin boosts self-confidence, and norepinephrine pumps up our energy.
“Love is the kind of emotion that comes to mind first and foremost when people identify good emotions,” says Berit Brogaard, a University of Miami professor of philosophy who is also a neuroscientist.