The Science Behind Crushing

Ushnaa Zaman, Staff Writer

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The first thing I did after I walked into class and put my books down was look at him. I didn’t open up my binder to start my work, or check my phone; I simply turned my head to my right and looked at him. He’s so perfect, I thought as my heart melted in my chest. I loved the way he stayed in his own little bubble, unable to be affected by the world. And when he plays with his little curls, it drives me insane. But when he smiles? Words are not enough to explain that feeling in the pit of my stomach when I catch him cracking a grin. Oh, the things I would do to be with him.

Crushes. We’ve all had them.

We’ve all gotten those butterflies and sweaty palms when we think of the person we fancy. We’ve all had our hearts beat out of our chests when we see them. We’ve all stuttered and acted like idiots when trying to talk to them.

But why do we create such feelings for that person? What makes us act that way? What’s the science behind it?

When you first develop a crush on someone, your brain releases a chemical called dopamine. Dopamine produces a pleasurable feeling, and since your brain loves that feeling so much and wants more of it, dopamine rushes whenever you think about or see that person. The adrenal gland pumps adrenaline, epinephrine, and norepinephrine throughout your body, which is the reason why you act so nervous around your crush. But why do you think about this person all the time? Well, your limbic system, which controls emotions and drives, releases dopamine, which makes you want to see that person every second of the day. Also, the reason why you don’t see any imperfections in your crush is because the amygdala, a group in the nuclei of the limbic system which controls how we see things, is not active when you’re thinking about your crush. That’s why they’re total perfection in your eyes.

So, the next time you have a crush on someone, you’ll know everything that’s going on in your brain. From the reason why you’re breathless to why your crush is the only person in your eyes, you’ll understand the science behind crushing.

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