Most teens will encounter various moments of intense love and passion. If you are in one of these moments and you suddenly realize that you are no longer in love, you’re probably in a little bit of trouble. Why do we feel so empty and unloved after falling in love? We think that once we discover our new partner that we have found “the one”, we have reached the end of the road.
There is nothing wrong with this if you are pursuing true love. This occurs for several reasons: either the brain has decided that we no longer have sexual desires, or the brain has not become responsive to the sexual impulse which stimulates us to want more. Other reasons for this include: the brain has not made us want to fall in love with someone; the oxytocin in our bodies has been switched off; or the brain has not been programmed to receive messages telling us that love is in our hearts and in our minds. In any of these situations the brain is not in tune with what it’s feeling. The result is a feeling of “not enough”.
To get your brain back in tune with how you feel like, you need to either give your oxytocin and vasopressin glands a tune up or have surgery to stimulate them. You can’t do this chemically. Forcing the brain that you still want them to produce more vasopressin and oxytocin won’t work either. Instead, you need to teach your brain how to experience love chemically. There are several ways to do this.
One method that neuroscientists have used to teach people how love makes them feel involves using the so-called NLP technique (neurolinguistic programming). NLP is the study of human behavior and in particular how various types of stimuli, including the way that other people dress and behave, affect our feelings. The theory behind this technique is that certain types of clothing make us feel good and others make us feel bad – this is why bad taste and obesity tend to bring down our “feel good” chemicals, while clothing that fits perfectly also make us happy.
The NLP technique goes something like this: by using embedded commands, neuroscientists can teach the brain to override its “out-of-shape” default settings to respond differently when exposed to similar situations. For instance, if you were walking through a park and saw a woman who looked really hot walking hand in hand with a guy who looked really unattractive, your heart would beat faster and your palms would start to sweat. Your brain would then associate the two people with each other and as a result would trigger a response in your body. By using a video recorder and asking the woman if she wanted to have sex with him (in her own video) the neuroscientist was then able to teach the woman how to change her emotional availability to suit the guy’s reaction.
In an interesting twist of reality, the technique is also helping couples to overcome the hurdle that hinders them from getting close in the first place – lust. In a recent study neuroscientists have found that as humans mature, a part of the brain called the ventromedial prefrontal cortex becomes less effective in its duty to regulate emotion and actually becomes disconnected from the “love circuitry”. The result is that instead of becoming attracted to one another, the couple may actually start to feel antipathy or even loathing for one another. The amazing thing is that when the couple engages in NLP-based methods to re-train their brains they are able to tap into this previously dormant biological drive to love – and make it work for them to overcome their difficulties in falling in love.