Damn That Dopamine

It’s called dopamine.  In case you haven’t heard about it since you took biology or sex education in school, let me break it down for you. Dopamine is a neurotransmitter that helps to control your brain’s rewards and pleasure center.  There’s more to the definition, but for our purposes, this definition from Psychology Today gets down to a bite size piece.

 

When dopamine is released, it feels fantastic.  It’s a legitimate high!  It’s that euphoria you feel when you eat comfort food (warm pound cake…Yum!), you find that stop-traffic dress (the only one in your size), and yes, when you meet a sexy guy with that Denzel swagger (you know that swaggerlicious scene where his character, John, is being taken away in handcuffs–that walk, that suit!) who you catch checking you out and your best girlfriend confirms it.

 

There’s also a down side to dopamine.  We call it that love jones.  It’s when you can no longer think straight.  That man has hijacked your sense and your sensibilities.  And you have become so strung out that you crave him like a junkie craves heroine or crack cocaine.  You literally have the same symptoms as a person going through a withdrawal.

 

Dr. John Gray, world renowned author of Men Are From Mars Women Are From Venus, was a guest speaker at my 2016 You Asked?  Good Men Answered! Virtual Summit.  His extensive research on chemicals in the brain and how they affect our relationships was not just informative but taught how, by knowing this, men and women can approach dating with greater intention and competence.