By Katie Parsons for KnowMore.tv's GalTime
Being in love can change our perceptions about everything in our lives, and sometimes those warm and fuzzy emotions can actually warp our realities -- especially when it comes to new love.
New love takes selective blindness and alternate realities to a special place, according to relationship expert Lisa Steadman, bestselling author of It's a Breakup, Not a Breakdown.
"We're so juiced up in love and distracted in those early months that we spend a lot of time daydreaming about that new person," says Steadman. "We tend to lose focus at work or in other areas too."
Those high-flying feelings you have can actually be unhealthy. A study out of the University of London found that when people look at their new loves, the brain circuits that usually govern social judgment become suppressed. Scans showed that the areas of the brain used to manage fear and other negative emotions also shut down when people first fall in love, backing up claims that people in new love really can be reckless. In some cases, serotonin levels in the brain dropped too, leading some people to obsess over their new loves.
Other Downsides to the New Love Euphoria
"It's really important to fall in love with the right body parts," says Steadman. "If you let pure chemistry dictate how you fall in love, you'll wake up one day and not even like the person you're with."
"We can be wrong in identifying our own loving attitude; one reason being that sexual desire can be confused with romantic love," explains Dr. Ben-Zeév. "This is especially true in the first stages of romantic love, when sexuality plays a dominant role."
New love cannot only distort the present, but it can wreak havoc on the future when the reality of who the other person truly is finally hits.
So What's The Upside of Being in a New Love?
When you're in a new love, you give off a glow that's noticeable to those around you -- and in some cases make you even more attractive to others.
Steadman has observed that when a woman finds happiness with a guy, suddenly it seems that every other guy wants to be with her too.
"We're vibrant when we're in those early love stages, so we become extremely attractive to other men," she said.
How to Be Smart About Your Emotions
The new love feeling eventually wears off and people are left with the real people, void of the rose-colored glasses of the early relationship days. Instead of running from the flaws, people should have an internal discussion with themselves about what to do next.
"There comes a time when the reality hits and the true person is revealed," says Steadman. This is where a commitment decision is usually made... a commitment to continue to love that person, or to move on."
In Steadman's experience, the people who stay madly in love for a long period of time are the ones who recognize their partner's flaws and love them anyway.
"Try not to let your emotions rule your love life," advises Steadman. "Take your time, choose wisely and be happy."
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