A recent study published in the journal Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences sheds some light on whether humans are biologically destined to be in a relationship or not. The study found that there is a significant genetic component to the degree of satisfaction people report having with their romantic partner. This suggests that, at least in part, our happiness in relationships is due to our genes and not just our environment or circumstances. What does this mean for singles? Are we doomed to loneliness, or is there still hope for us? »
Love is one of the most intriguing, and often confusing, emotions we experience as human beings. On the one hand, it can lead us to find a soul mate and experience unparalleled happiness. On the other hand, it can also lead to heartache and disappointment. So what is love, really? And are we really designed to live as a couple?
Scientists tell us…
Well, know that this is a theme that science has studied. And there is an answer: yes, we are made to live as a couple, because without a partner, we would not have the level of well-being that we have when we are in a relationship. To understand why this is so, we need to know how the human brain works when we meet someone.
When you meet a new person, your brain goes to work determining whether that person is friend or foe. This process happens quickly and unconsciously, and it involves several different parts of the brain. First, the limbic system, which controls emotions, kicks into high gear. This area of the brain assesses whether the person is likely to be emotionally threatening.
Then the amygdala, which is responsible for fear and anxiety, begins to assess the situation. If the amygdala senses a threat, it sends a signal to the rest of the brain, making you feel jittery or on edge. Finally, the neocortex, which is responsible for high-level thinking, comes into play. This area of the brain takes into account factors such as facial expressions and body language to determine if the person is trustworthy. All this information is processed in seconds and helps you decide how to act with this new person. Whether you smile or offer him a handshake, your brain has already made the decision for you.
Then oxytocin kicks in…
From the first hello, our brain releases oxytocin, known as the love hormone. It plays an important role in bonding, social interaction, and sexual reproduction. It is released when a person hugs, touches or sits close to another person. Oxytocin levels also increase during sex, childbirth, and breastfeeding. This hormone has many different effects on the body.
For example, it can help increase trust and cooperation, reduce fear and anxiety, and promote feelings of happiness and well-being. Also, oxytocin plays an essential role in reproduction. During childbirth, it helps to stimulate contractions of the uterus. And during breastfeeding, it helps the mother to get closer to her baby and produce milk. The next time you feel close to someone, be sure to thank your oxytocin levels for making it happen!
So, can humans live alone?
Science says we are not biologically meant to live alone. Studies have shown that social interaction is essential for brain development, and humans who lack social contact are more likely to suffer from mental and physical health problems. Even pets need social interaction to stay healthy – just see how excited puppies are when they meet other dogs or their owners!
So, even if we don’t always like being around other people, it is clear that we need it to lead a happy and healthy life. Another situation that confirmed these studies is the confinement due to the spread of Covid-19 in 2019. Many people living alone experienced a feeling of distress and anxiety during this long period. Which suggests that we may not be able to change our biology, but we can change our situation. And here we are talking to singles! Despite their frustrating experiences that pushed them to live alone. This does not mean that they are doomed to a life of solitude. But, they are in a phase of rebirth to dive back into a new adventure full of love and dopamine.