At the beginning of most love relationships, hormones and brain chemicals flood the body and brain. Many of these hormones and brain chemicals make us act as if we are in a trance. We overlook flaws in each other as well as early warning signs of later relationship problems. Fueled by the feel-good, reward and motivational neurotransmitter dopamine, we feel ecstatic when around each other, we idealize each other, and we just can’t seem to get enough of each other.
But once the feel-good hormones and brain chemicals return to normal levels, and the feeling of being in a trance leaves way for life as usual, we suddenly notice each other’s flaws and the many relationship problems we need to work on. Even if you enjoy each other’s company, you are no longer dying to see each other, and you feel inclined to spend more time apart.
Your need for alone time increases — at least if you are securely attached and don’t tend to drift toward an anxious (clingy/dependent) attachment style.
When our hormones and brain chemicals return to normal levels, many of us mistake this shift in our feelings for a sudden absence of love. If we are used to the drug-high feeling of being in love and then we suddenly feel nothing but the occasional closeness and sexual attraction, we are bound to think that something is wrong with the relationship. Add to that our sudden perception of the behaviors and facial expressions we used to consider cute little quirks as incredibly bothersome traits and habits.