Have you ever felt crazy in love? Not figuratively. Actually crazy in love?
Although I was never a big fan of committed relationships, all of that changed when I got together with my husband. I had always had a "take it or leave it" attitude when it came to previous relationships, but with him, I suddenly felt obsessed. I was interested in everything he said or did or ate or wore or wanted to accomplish or be. When he was around, I wanted to sit near him all the time and listen to him talk and smell his hair (TMI or... ?).
Luckily for me, he felt just as obsessed with me, so there was no stage five clinger talk happening between us — we just acknowledged that we were both a little loopy. And that we'd be loopy together.
If you have ever felt crazy in love, rest assured you're not alone. It turns out that really weird (but cool!) things happen to your body around someone you love:
1. You Feel Relaxed And Excited At The Same Time
One of my favorite weird feelings that I experience with my husband is that I feel completely and totally relaxed, but completely and totally exhilarated around him at the same time.
It's a unique experience that I've certainly never had before: My body and muscles feel limp with contentment and calm, but then my heart and mind are racing with excitement about being with him.
I may not be all that weird (although, I know I'm weird) because it turns out that when you're in love, the body releases adrenaline, which can lead to a really active heart and brain, and also endorphins, which make you feel good and calm.
When you're in love, even if you don't experience both together like I do, it's likely that when you're with your partner, you'll feel at times overwhelmed with excitement because of all the adrenaline and at other times comfortable and happy. Or, you could be like me, and constantly feel both.
Love is weird, amirite?
2. You Feel Addicted To And Obsessed With Them
Although your obsession with your partner might be at the "bordering on bizarre" level, like mine is with my husband, it would be totally legit if you felt addicted to or obsessed with your partner whenever you were around them.
When you're in love and you just see a photo of your partner — let alone being physically in their presence — the same part of your brain is lit up as if you were addicted to cocaine. Yup, being in love, it turns out, can make you an addict.
Not only that, but in the early stages of love, you might find your brain producing less serotonin. That's because cortisol, the stress hormone, is rising. What that means for you is that your brain is more susceptible to “intrusive, maddeningly preoccupying thoughts, hopes, terrors of early love," according to a study done on the subject.
Alyssa Bunn, professional matchmaker at Tawkify and creator of Love + Co, says, "When we are truly in love, we're all on 'drugs.' Not only are our dopamine, oxytocin, and vasopressin levels at all-time highs, but our amygdala — our fear — is 'gone.'"
In other words: You're not a stalker that makes consistently irrational decisions, you're just in love. It's all good.
3. You Want To Touch Them And Be Touched By Them All The Time
I once told an ex-boyfriend (or, um, several) that I thought non-sexual touching was a sign of emotional weakness.
No, seriously, I did. I was trying to get out of cuddling, which I hated.
Fast forward to now, and I'm pretty much obsessed with cuddling with my husband every chance I get. Whereas I didn't like my personal space to be invaded much before, now if he's sitting on a chair, I'm on his lap. If he's lying in bed, I'm all tangled up in him. If he's standing, I'm less than three inches away.
OK... so it might not be that bad, but even if it were, I wouldn't be alone. Being around the one you love and getting to kiss or cuddle them releases oxytocin. Oxytocin, which has been called the "love hormone," is the thing that makes you feel all lovely inside about your partner and can make you want to invade their personal space even more.
So if you're being accused of too much PDA, silence the critics by telling them it's not you, it's the love hormone.
4. Your Brain Feels Flustered
I've never been the type of person who finds myself at a loss for words. Normally, I can come up with the perfect thing to say all the time.
Not around my husband, though. With him, my brain sometimes feels like it's totally scrambled and I struggle to string words together or not stutter.
Luckily, it's not me; it's love. Turns out love may temporarily lower our cognitive capacity — in other words, it makes us feel stupid, say stupid things, and act stupid. If you feel a little "off" around your partner, it's probably just because you love them and your brain isn't operating at 100 percent.
So when my stutter-filled sentences are coming out, it's because I'm so in love that my brain has shut down in a certain way and now, I can't speak.
Ain't love grand?
5. You Can't Stop Smelling Them
I may or may not have occasionally been accused of sniffing my husband too much in public. (I can't help it; he smells delicious.)
As usual, I find myself relieved to discover that it's not just me.
Apparently, I like the way my husband smells probably because his MHC composition — major histocompatibility complex — is different than mine. The evolutionary side of us likes partners with different MHC compositions because it supposedly would help the immune system of our offspring, meaning they'd have a greater chance of survival.
I mean, we're not having kids, but I still obsessively sniff his shirts whenever I can. (No, I don't. Yes, I do.)
Your body definitely does some weird things when you're around the person you love — and it does some weird things when you're in love in general. If you find yourself having any of the strange habits that I do around your partner, worry not: You're just a fool in love.