In those early days of romance, you may act differently, think differently, and sometimes even dress or talk differently. But once you mix in a few societal expectations, there are actually a few differences in how a man falls in love — including what goes on in his brain. Read on below for more info on what falling in love does to the brain, as well as a few psychology facts about guys in love.
They’ll Feel “High” On Love
At the start of a relationship, “the brain produces a very high level of a chemical called phenylethylamine (PEA). This naturally produced amphetamine is what makes people ‘high on love. It also explains the feelings of joy, increased energy, and excitement associated with the early or honeymoon stage of a relationship.
Judgment Is Impaired
Ever notice how a love interest seems perfect in every way? That’s the PEA talking. It contributes to a bias toward the positive, Porter says, and it also plays an important role in nature’s “mating sequence” — aka the urge to stick with this “perfect” person long-term and maybe even make a baby.
He’ll Form Positive Memories
The brain is also busily working on forming good memories and cute associations in the early days of love. This is all thanks to the neurotransmitter oxytocin, which is better known as the “love hormone.”
It helps the brain form fresh, positive memories with a new partner and form new neural connections, which helps to get rid of some mental baggage from past relationships.
He’ll Experience A Sense Of Euphoria
Men in love tend to feel extra happy, which is also due to what’s going on in the brain. When a man falls in love, high levels of dopamine — a chemical associated with the brain’s reward center — is released so he will feel a natural high and sense of euphoria.
Men May Fall In Love Faster Than Women
If it seems like men typically fall in love faster than women, it could be chalked up to society’s gender roles. “Men may feel like they have to fulfill the expectation of taking a leadership role in a relationship.
On the flip side, a woman might take longer to fall in love because her focus is on selecting the best mate possible for reproduction.
A Man In Love May Feel Less Pain
Here’s a cool love fact: “Love is so powerful that in laboratory tests, it reduces pain by half,” says Dr. Jarred Younger, Ph.D., a neuroscientist and associate professor at the University of Alabama, Birmingham who has conducted brain scans on men and women when they’re in love. “It does so by sending messages down to the spinal cord to block the pain messages before they reach the brain.”
Everyone Else Fades Away
When they’re truly in love, it can be tough for many heterosexual males to “see” other folks in the dating pool. This is yet another effect of oxytocin, which has been found to enhance the brain’s reward system when a man looks at his partner’s face. As their brain bathes in feel-good chemicals, they’ll feel certain their partner is more attractive and desirable than anyone else.
He May Look For Ways To Provide
Again with the gender roles, a man in love is more likely to look for ways to provide for the person he’s falling for. This is when he might take on extra hours at work, often to the detriment of his relationship.
He May Be Hyper-Focused
Another way a man might react, psychologically speaking, is by carving out more time in his day for the person he’s falling in love with. “When men are dating, but not yet in love, the relationship will fit into their life,” Klapow says. But once they’re in love, they will find ways to fit themselves into yours.
It could be argued that the change stands out more in men compared to women due to the way women are conditioned from a young age to put others first. “When in love, a man will begin thinking of your [his partner’s] needs and wants before his,” Hershenson says. “He’ll become willing to compromise and makes sure you [his partner] feel safe and supported.”
He’ll Be Extra Kind
It’s not necessarily that you’re only kind if you’re in love. But lots of people really do try harder to be nice once they’re head-over-heels — men included. “They become acutely aware of their behavior and how it affects their partner, adding that this is when men will look for ways to be sweet. Think buying flowers or gifts.
This is the stage where he might try harder to impress with his appearance. “A man in love may pay attention to things he typically doesn’t pay attention to, like how he is speaking and his personal hygiene,” Klapow says. Again, this is not always the case, but a fun thing to look for all the same.