"We've proven that romantic love can be just as powerful as an addiction.I know someone who, after her boyfriend dumped her, took 10 years to get over it."I wrote him love e-mails every day, sent him videos of my life there.No reply." (Or, as they say in Spain, nada.) Yet she didn't doubt his love for a second, not when he started sounding "distant and weird" on the phone…or when he failed to pick up at all.
Chemistry aside, this can't-eat-or-sleep phase of love eventually shifts into the I-can-see-his-faults phase.Contrary to urban legend, what matters most in terms of initial sexual attraction isn't the chemicals known as pheromones (in other animals, pheromones are detected by a heightened sense of smell and tend to drive mating behavior).In humans, sexual desire is driven by something Fisher calls the brain's love map: that list of things you subconsciously look for in a mate, whether it's success, accent, body type, or whatever gets you going.Once we get it into our head that someone would be a good life partner, the brain is very well built to turn a person into a doormat." Fisher's MRI studies also suggest that when someone is crazy in love, the insular cortex, a brain region associated with anxiety, lights up like a Christmas tree.Which is why, when your crush's texts stop coming ("He said he would BRB! Then there's the roiling mix of hormones that make you sexually hungry for the object of your obsession. His age (35) and success were a potent combination, and she was instantly attracted. "He'd pick me up, and we'd go back to his place and have sex," Katz says.What's crazier is that on-again, off-again attention can actually obsessive love, even in an otherwise levelheaded woman.