Women are more likely to be addicted to love than men – it’s in our brain chemistry and wiring. A lot of it has to do with good sex – it is actually addictive to women because of how it affects our brains.
“The work of Dr Daniel Amen in The Brain in Love…suggests that some of women’s behaviors currently seen as needy and masochistic are in fact better understood as natural and probably evolutionary responses to the brain changes caused by female orgasm,” writes Naomi Wolf in Vagina.
Are you a woman who feels like you’re addicted to love? You’re normal! It’s in our biology and neurochemistry – and our experience is very different than men’s.
For Women Who Are Addicted to Love
If you haven’t read Wolf’s Vagina yet (as weird as it sounds), I really encourage you to get a copy today. It’s incredibly empowering because it discusses the “force” in a very liberated, positive, factual, and interesting way. It’s changing how I see myself as a woman, and how I see my husband.
Addiction to love is about dopamine. In her book, Wolf explains that sex triggers dopamine, which is the same mechanism underlying all addictions. If something – shopping, food, shoplifting, eating, etc – increases your dopamine levels, then you have the potential to become addicted to it. “Addiction highs hijack our wiring, leaving us with little choice about seeking that high again and again,” writes Wolf.
Men aren’t addicted to love the same way women are. Men experience a boost in dopamine when they’re sexually involved, but not as much. Women are physiologically different than men, and women are more prone to craving or feeling addicted to their partners. Men experience attachment and love, but not in the same way women are.
The downside of love addiction is the pain we feel when we lose our partners. Women suffer more deeply after a breakup or loss because we’re primed by dopamine to overcome huge obstacles to getting to our loved ones and engaging in extreme behavior to pursue relationships.
“This major brain high can also involve the hormones that elicit obsessive thinking about a loved one, and that elicit nurturing and even self-sacrificing behaviors,” writes Wolf.
Wolf’s book changed how I think about breakups. It’s not as easy to “get over it” when it’s your brain chemicals that are causing obsessive thoughts about your ex! But, knowing how our brain chemistry and dopamine affects how women experience love can change how we think about loss.
“An essential paradox of the female condition is that for women to really be free, we have to understand the ways in which nature designed us to be attached to and dependent upon love, connection, intimacy, and the right kind of Eros in the hands of the right kind of man or woman.” – Naomi Wolf.
Are you addicted to love? Read How to Stop Thinking About Your Ex.