Nearly everyone has experienced the bliss of new love. Infatuation symptoms are not difficult to recognize or understand—constant preoccupation with someone, day-dreaming, butterflies when you’re planning on seeing them, smiling like an idiot, gushing to your friends constantly, or turning any benign conversation about a deal on avocados into an excuse to discuss their glittering eyes. But infatuation causes actual chemical effects in the body that can lead to physical symptoms that you may not necessarily equate with the joyfulness of being in love.
According to the Harvard Department of Neurobiology, new love increases levels of dopamine in the brain, but those heightened levels of dopamine also signal and increase in cortisol—the “crisis handling” chemical, and norepinephrine, an adrenaline hormone that can cause insomnia, cravings, and loss of appetite Basically, infatuation can completely scramble your brain.
Here are a few infatuation symptoms you may encounter when you’re really interested in someone:
Raging dopamine levels do all kinds of things to your brain and body, and one of them is majorly clouding your judgment. Yes, your new boo is probably absolutely wonderful, but the chance that their completely and utterly perfect is pretty slim. If the way they smack their lips when they eat ribs is just freakin’ adorable now, give it time to simmer before you declare it’s your favorite thing about them.
In crisis mode, your brain narrows its scope down to a singular focus—what’s essentially tunnel vision. That means that when you’re preoccupied with a new special someone, your brain may be dropping off its list all the other things that aren’t “important.” If you’re driving home with every intention of stopping at the bank, you may find yourself in your driveway before you even realize you’ve forgotten.
3. Sour Stomach
When the stakes are high, your anxiety levels naturally heighten, and that can drop your desire to eat. If you’ve been on cloud nine lately and you’re finding that your stomach isn’t cooperating, this may be the reason why.
Cortisol can caused heightened anxiety, and when you’re focusing on impressing someone new (and worrying about whether or not they’re as into you as you’re into them) this can cause you to turn your anxieties inward, and focus on your imperfections. Suddenly, you may find that you can’t let go of the size of your calves, or you’re fretting about if you’re savings account is too small. Things that you normally take in stride may become incredibly bothersome.
Your preoccupation may hit whole new levels if it’s disrupting your sleep patterns. You can lie awake for hours thinking of all the wonderful things about your new crush, fretting over all the things that could go wrong, waking up early to do some extra primping in case you run into them, work out a little harder and cut back on calories to look your best, and not to mention panic sweat when they even look in your direction. These heightened activities can really take a toll on the body.
When you consider the havoc being newly in love wreaks on your body and mind, it can be daunting, and frankly, a turn off. But here’s the best part: You’re so in love, you don’t usually care. None of these symptoms even compare to when that dream person looks into your eyes. So keep sailing on that sea of love, dear friends. Soon the newness will wane and you’ll be left with the long lasting comfort of being able to sleep, eat, see, and remember things again.