The scientific tale of love begins innocently enough, with voles. The prairie vole is a sociable creature, one of the only 3% of mammal species that appear to form monogamous relationships. Mating between prairie voles is a tremendous 24-hour effort. After this, they bond for life. They prefer to spend time with each other, groom each other for hours on end and nest together. They avoid meeting other potential mates. The male becomes an aggressive guard of the female. And when their pups are born, they become affectionate and attentive parents. However, another vole, a close relative called the montane vole, has no interest in partnership beyond one-night-stand sex....
They argue that prairie voles become addicted to each other through a process of sexual imprinting mediated by odour. Furthermore, they suggest that the reward mechanism involved in this addiction has probably evolved in a similar way in other monogamous animals, humans included, to regulate pair-bonding in them as well.
I think it's legit. I remember when I broke up with my first girlfriend in High School. I was in my bed staring at the roof and rolled over. I got a whiff of the shampoo she used that was still on my pillow and BAM! It was something I'll never forget. Last year I fell for a girl I'd been friends with for a long time. I don't really remember smelling her much so there has got to be more to it than just odor.
The article explains that we have three emotions that evolved for specific purposes. Lust - Procreation Romantic Love - Pair Bonding and Long Term Attachment - Raising Kids. Romantic Love has got to be the most painful by far. The quote that sums it all up "We were not built to be happy but to reproduce." I've harbored that belief for most of my life because I had a strange habit of reading science books as a kid. I was so in love once that I remember driving to the Jack in the Box drive through in a complete haze with a big grin on my face. Completely irrational but I think it gave me perspective, an alternative view of the world outside of my cynical norm.