We can think of love as everything good, and learn to feel it, and trust it … even when it doesn’t match the picture we’ve conjured up. Scientists now study and measure oxytocin, or the feel-good hormone, that accompanies love. It’s found naturally when Johnny feels joyful, connected, hopeful, loved. And scientists can watch as it broadens Sally’s outlook and encourages her growth. Love literally nurtures, sustains, energizes, and inspires you to be your best self, to be bigger than you thought was big. It reduces fear and suspicion, without reducing your ability to calculate risk. It keeps babies, who are dependent on caregivers, alive! It’s the difference between life and death. We can feel it with strangers, acquaintances, friends, siblings, and parents. But, perhaps, our favorite way to feel love is with somebody who is exclusively ours, somebody who is ours to touch in private places, who reaches the deepest part of who we are, who knows us down to the core, and loves us no matter what.
an excerpt from my upcoming book
photo of waterfalls from a walk in the dark
note: Sex includes an undisputed–though, short-lived–surge of oxytocin!