How to maintain passion in a couple's relationship, according to experts

If you've ever wondered what happens in your brain when you see your life partner, a team of researchers in America think they may have found the answer. Experts also think they've discovered how to keep passion alive in a couple's relationship!

Several neuroscientists at the University of Colorado wanted to find out why we are attracted to each other, what happens in the brain when we meet the people we love, and how we maintain passion in a couple's relationship.

The study examined the nervous reactions of animals when interacting with other people. The mammals used in this study were prairie voles, small North American animals with gray and brown fur, ears, and short tails. The choice was based on the strong monogamous relationships that this species forms.

Two experiments were carried out on these animals. In the first test, they were separated from their partners by a lever-operated door, and in the second, they were separated by a fence that they could climb over. In both tests, the animals had fiber-optic sensors implanted in their brains, which lit up when they detected the release of dopamine, a molecule that appears in the body at the beginning of a relationship when the feeling of falling in love occurs.

These sensors lit up like “glow sticks” when the animals pressed a lever or climbed over a wall and were reunited with their partners. Bottom line? “When we are with a partner, our brain contains more dopamine than when we are with a stranger, which brings us pleasure and happiness,” one of the researchers said.

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In contrast, the same response was not observed when animals were reunited after being separated for 4 weeks. When the weeks of study were over and the animals were reunited, the dopamine they once felt was virtually nonexistent. The desire to connect is gone! “This can be translated into a kind of reboot in the brain, which allows the animal to form new connections,” explained one of the specialists.

Of course, more research is needed to understand how these results translate to people, but the team believes the study has important implications for people who struggle to form close bonds and for those going through a breakup.

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How to maintain passion in a couple's relationship, according to experts