How Love Affects Your Brain

This is your brain on love. The L-word makes us all act a bit crazy from time to time, but who knew the reaction was scientific? While reading through the news today, we came across this article in The Los Angeles Times dissecting some of the science behind falling -- and staying -- in love.

According to the article, a study found that the brain reacts to a first date much like it does to a dose of cocaine. That definitely explains some of the weird behavior we've all been guilty of early on in relationships -- sleeplessness, energy surges, and euphoria (plus nagging anxiety and obsession -- read: checking your voicemail every five minutes to make sure you didn't miss a post-date call).

So what happens when you've transitioned from a new romance to a long-lasting partnership? The jury is still out. Some studies have found that two people eventually move from the excitement of a new love to the safer, albeit less exhilarating, stages of companionship. Yet other researchers have reported that couples in long-term relationships can have the same brain activity that they did in a new one, sans (thankfully) the anxiety and obsession.

Either way, it's important to keep your love fresh and exciting -- and this Valentine's Day is the perfect time for remembering why you fell in love in the first place. Need inspiration? Take a look at our tips for getting in the mood, check out our secrets for a hotter relationship, or read why other Nesties love their spouse more now than when they first met! Have some ideas of your own? Share your comments below, or start a discussion on our community boards.