But what is love, really? Why do we get such a high from "falling in love"?
There is actually a physiological reason behind it all, and it's more than just "(s)he's crazy lol".
For those who took any basic psychology courses in college, or maybe even high school, you probably know that the frontal cortex of our brain is in charge of reasoning and decision making. From this, most of you can probably infer that the cortex is not highly involved in our decisions when it comes to romance.
Why do we get so crazy when we "fall in love"? Why are so many of us drawn to that feeling of new love? Why do we chase it, yearn for it, lust for it?
I strongly encourage all romance novelists and romance novel fans to check out this article, "Limbic Love", on the American Scientist website. It briefly discusses why we get those crazy, emotionally-charged feelings when we start falling in love, and the answer is fairly simple: the limbic system.
Those crazy feelings of love, jealousy, and euphoria? The limbic system. Those crazy acts of slapping that person who dared giving "the look" to your significant other? That's the brain redirecting the flow of blood from the cortex (remember: logic, decision-making, etc.) to the limbic system (emotions).
But what happens after that? What happens when the initial "falling in love" ends, and the real relationship begins? And I don't mean the "real relationship" to mean the day you two lovebirds officially mark the day you went steady; I'm talking about the hard work of maintaining a steady, long-term relationship...a topic many romance novelists fail to cover.
It's not exactly exciting to write entire novels about a couple finding their first apartment, paying the bills, and fighting over which brand of toilet paper to buy. But it's not to say it isn't important to discuss. Love and marriage isn't all about passionate lovemaking and blasting "your song" through the window at night - it's about coming together and creating a symbiotic relationship together. Your lover should also be your partner and your best friend; without such a bond, the "love" between a couple will eventually fade.
With that, I leave you all with a quote from one of my favorite novels, Corelli's Mandolin by Louis de Bernières: