So what is love? Well, if we want to talk about love biologically, what happens in your body in the process of love and what happens to your neurology, well, let me explain it to you. It is a sympathetic nervous system called norepinephrine to stimulate your sinoatrial node, a stress response diverted blood flow from your stomach and intestines, that's what felt like butterflies. The ventral tegmental, the area sent signals to your nucleus accumbens, and I'm sure that I mispronounced some of those. That's what's happened scientifically inside of you when you fall in love, when you feel the butterflies.
And then what happens is the more you anticipate being around that person that you love, that anticipation of reward is dopamine and it starts pumping the brain chemical inside your body neurotransmitter which then in turn causes oxytocin to be secreted, to be dumped into your bloodstream and give you that potion of devotion, which continues to grow stronger. And oftentimes what happens is your judgment will be impaired by reaction in activity, so your amygdala, the part of your brain that's responsible for emotional responses in the frontal cortex of the brain.
Then when you fear you might lose that love, the serotonin level inside you, the neurotransmitter, the brain chemical that tells you that...well, allows you to feel good, quite frankly, and to feel love in some shape or form starts to fall, producing anxiety. And then when that serotonin starts to rise again, you start to feel comfortable and calm because oxytocin starts to get released into your body. And every time you touch, you're around about that loved person, that oxytocin start to get dumped more and more into your bloodstream because oxytocin is the potion of devotion, and you get a little bit of dopamine, a little bit serotonin in there, and that's what love is.
You're not listening to this to find out the bio-modular signatures of what love is, or maybe some of you are, maybe some of you geek out on that kind of stuff as well, but that's what's happening to your body. That's what's happening to your brain when you love someone.
Listen, I put myself into this category, I thought, as a little boy, all I saw about love was my parents and that was a very unorthodox love relationship, if you will. And really Hollywood's, yes, Hollywood. I got all my cues and markers from Hollywood and quite frankly American TV shows. I thought that's what love was and Disney movies, well, not so much of the Disney movies. I'm a I'm a guy with ample levels of testosterone after all. But you would find that one person, and there is only one person, right? There's only one person to find that you would love and they would love you and then and no matter what hardships you had you had to endure that you are currently going for, you'd find that person that would love you and it would just balance out the world and everything would be okay and you would live happily ever after.
How'd that work out for you? It didn't quite work out so well for me for quite some time. Because, you see what I realized is in in my life as a 38-year old man, I have been in love multiple times with multiple girls. I have loved many, many different people -- romantic love, friendship love, maternal/paternal love as well. There are many different forms a love and we're going to perhaps address as much as we can here today, certainly from my perspectives.
But let's go back on the theme of romantic love, if you will. I don't believe in the concept that there is necessarily one and only one person for you on this Earth. I don't subscribe to the context. I don't subscribe to the belief that you are half of somebody and then when you meet your soulmate, your life mate, if you will, which are two separate things here, soulmate are perhaps somebody that you've met in many different lives, many different incarnations, if such a thing, or reincarnations exist.
But it might not always work out perfectly with that person yet you keep attracting them and falling for them as they do for you in different reincarnations of your life. And it might not always work out. You might make up, break up, like Ross and Rachel from "Friends" or like Bruce Willis and Cybill Shepherd from "Moonlighting." That's an '80s and '90s reference for you there, because I'm an '80s and '90s kid. Told you I got my concepts of love originally before they were field tested in my life, from American movies and TV shows.
But yes, life mate. What's a life mate? A life mate is somebody that maybe you only see in one life. Maybe you only see them in this life, and they're a lot more compatible with you. You do indeed love them, but perhaps they're so easy to be around them and perhaps build a life around them, perhaps less ups and downs like a roller coaster. So that's the difference between a life mate and a soul mate. I hope that gives you some food for thought there.
So love, love, this thing that you can get. And love is not a permanent thing, guys. I know, you might not want to hear that, but love, romantic love, that bubble is not a consistent thing that's there all the time. Look, I don't know if you're listening to this with your most beloved, romantic love next to you by your side or if you're alone in your house, what you're doing, I don't know. But just, until I asked you this question, you probably weren't thinking of the most-loved person in the world here. So where was the love then? And now you probably think of him, and like, you get those warm fuzzy feelings inside you.
But see, the concept of love, for the most part, the biochemical reactions to people is when you're in their presence. And it's different forms of love. There's the form of love, like your romantic love, the head over heels love, the obsessed love, the my one and only love, right? You've had that. Hopefully you've experienced that. There's a kind of love as well that you'll have some friendships just… What's the word I'm looking for? Just a neutral friendship, of someone that…and not to do with sex or romance, you just love someone. Like my best friend growing up was [inaudible 00:08:09] and I love this guy. Did I romantic love him? No, not on any level. Not that there's anything wrong with that, but I love this guy. This guy was fucking awesome and helped me to become the man I am today. So I have love for this guy, true, true love, don't have a bad [inaudible 00:08:23] about this guy, but it was very, very different from the romantic love that I have with my girlfriends now.
There's a kind of love that you might have when you have an interplay with someone who's even an associate. Perhaps you're at the gym. Perhaps you're walking down a street and you just get to chat with someone for no particular reason and it's a fun interplay of words, and you just feel yeah, that's kind of cool, that's kind of fun. Ladies and gentlemen, I'm here to tell you, that's a form of love. Is it romantic love? No. Is it sexual love? No. Is it even the kind of love that you have with one of your great friends? No. But how your body reacts to it is a form of love, a sharing of stories.
Stay tuned next week for part 2.