Steph Barnes
December 06, 2016 7:56 am
Elizabeth Tsung/Unsplash

Do you remember your first teenage crush and how incredibly awkward you felt? Your body stopped feeling like your own, the fluttering butterflies in your stomach almost made you nauseous, and most days, your heart threatened to beat right out of your chest? Those weird, amazing, confusing, scary, life-altering moments never really go away. In fact, as we get older, these lovesick feelings only intensify but now we’re able to easily identify them as our body’s subtle (and sometimes not-so-subtle) hints that we have a crush! Maybe we’re falling in love (or lust, at the very least, which is also kinda great).

When we find ourselves crushing on someone, our brain releases an entire host of chemicals causing a series of truly fascinating reactions throughout our bodies. If you’ve ever wondered about the science behind it all, here are 8 weird things that happen when you have a crush:

This happens when an adrenaline-like neurotransmitter called norepinephrine is released. We know sweaty palms aren’t exactly attractive but love isn’t always pretty.

After having a few drinks, we become more relaxed, less inhibited, and fear usually goes out the window. Researchers at the University of Birmingham have highlighted significant similarities between the behavioral effects of the “love hormone” oxytocin and alcohol. Despite affecting different parts of the brain, they both bring the same feelings.

So weird! Researcher Donatella Marazziti told New Scientist, “It’s as if nature wants to eliminate what can be different in men and women, because it’s more important to survive [and mate] at this stage.” We’re not sure how we feel about this one.

Perhaps Dr. Seuss was on to something when he wrote, “You know you’re in love when you can’t fall asleep because reality is finally better than your dreams.” Studies have shown the euphoric feelings that your crush brings may actually have you feeling more positive and energized, which causes you to sleep less. #hormoneoverload.

According to LiveScience, oxytocin is believed to help relieve headaches by acting on the trigeminal nerve, which carries pain information from the head and face. And as we’ve mentioned, oxytocin is often referred to as the “cuddle hormone” or the “love hormone,” because it is released when people snuggle up or bond socially.

If all goes well with your crush, it will become something more and falling in love is much like feeling addicted to drugs. You find yourself in an almost constant state of euphoria with the release of brain chemicals like dopamine, oxytocin, adrenaline, and vasopressin. And the more you get, the more you want.

When you’re attracted to someone, it’s hard to keep your eyes off them. You may even get caught awkwardly staring just a little too long but according to science, this is totally normal. And during these lingering gazes, your nervous system’s sympathetic branch is stimulated which cause your eyes to dilate. Ask your crush to check next time!

If you are currently experiencing any of these symptoms, we wish you all the best with your new crush and remember, you’re not alone!

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