Blame it on the chemistry. Yes, it is chemistry that causes you to fall in love with the wrong person. That tingly euphoric feeling that is there soon after you meet that special person comes from a surge of dopamine that makes you feel so good but it also impairs your judgment.1 You then become obsessed with having the high that comes from every text, every moment with your loved one.
Yet, you aren’t really experiencing the totality of your loved one—you are experiencing only the ecstatic feeling when you are connected with him/her. And, like any addict, you need increasing amounts and doses of dopamine in order to continue to feel the ecstasy. What you are experiencing is “romantic intoxication”.2 Then, when your partner does not instantly reply to a text or isn’t available for an entire day, you start experiencing withdrawal. So you frantically try to reestablish the connection as soon as possible. At this point you don’t love the person—you love the ecstatic feeling. And you will do anything to be with that person, even if it is the wrong one.
- Doidge, Norman (2007) The brain that changes itself. N.Y.: Penguin Books, p. 115.
- Liebowitz, M. (1983). The chemistry of love. Boston: Little, Brown & Co.