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Is This Love or Dopamine?: A deeply unofficial study of dating in the digital age

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According to an article from Harvard Medical School, dopamine is a natural chemical that affects the brain’s reward pathways and reward detection in the ventral tegmental area, including the nucleus accumbens. Wholehearted biological reductionism (and its bedfellow, molecular determinism – think Richard Dawkins) really misses the point that humans, and animals and life in general is far more than what can be quantified and measured, tho’ there are a lot of useful things that can be measured! I sometimes feel like the page could almost run itself, because it is worth going through all of them, but at the end, it does get a bit depressing going through everyone’s dating nightmares. Finally, attraction seems to lead to a reduction in serotonin, a hormone that’s known to be involved in appetite and mood. You then begin to discover the different tropes, from difficult to define, but easy to recognise artsy softbois (think Kyle from Ladybird or your wannabe musician ex-boyfriend) to the more traditional misogynistic fuckboys.

The effects are less pronounced with estrogen, but some women report being more sexually motivated around the time they ovulate, when estrogen levels are highest. We’re all becoming a lot more emotionally literate now because we’re on TikTok finding out about psychology and feelings and stuff. You may feel like you've found your soul mate and like the connection between the two of you is unlike anything else. While these chemicals are often stereotyped as being “male” and “female,” respectively, both play a role in men and women. Not that the author is wrong, but they could've also covered the positive and lighthearted side of things instead of just analyzing the wrong and unsuccessful ways to ask for nudes.

And yet, despite her unique experiences, she claims not to be an expert and has no interest in telling readers how they should or shouldn’t date.

This might be the first time a book has actually made me laugh out loud - the author completely captured the subtleties of online dating in this generation right down to the emojis. A successful relationship takes communication, support, and compromise and requires both partners to work together to achieve this goal. Helen Fisher at Rutgers, romantic love can be broken down into three categories: lust, attraction, and attachment. This social trust has been a crucial part of survival since the beginning of human civilization and is hardwired into the brain. beam_me_up_softboi creator and journalist Iona David explores the highs, horrors and heartbreaks: from the all-important first DM slide to the inevitable eventual ghosting; from f*cj boys and Tinder anthems to loaded emojis and revenge selfies.From the first hello on a dating app to the bizarre post-coital interactions, most of us have dealt with the ego of softbois and f*ckbois alike.

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