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Dopamine: What it is & Why It's Important for Your Relationships

Updated: May 31, 2023

couple in bed with high levels of dopamine

There has been some interesting research recently that indicates that people across the world are having less sex over the past few years. What's more, is that the research is showing evidence that the reason behind it is due to mental health challenges. As a society, we are seeing more and more mental health difficulties than ever before.

Which is why today we're going to talk about building a healthier relationship with your partner and we're going to do that with dopamine.

drawing of a brain showing dopamine

Dopamine is a hormone that helps regulate the pleasure and reward centers of the brain. It's often referred to as the "happy hormone" because it's involved in the production of happiness and positive emotions. Dopamine is also responsible for helping us feel motivated and focused. In short, dopamine is essential for a happy, healthy life.

But dopamine isn't just important for our individual well-being; it also plays a major role in our relationships. When we feel good in a relationship, it's because dopamine is released. Conversely, when we feel stressed or disconnected from our partner, it's often because dopamine levels are low. So, what can you do to keep your dopamine levels high and your relationship strong?

Let's talk about how dopamine is the hormone that steers a relationship and how you can use it to improve the relationship with your partner.

What is Dopamine

dopamine hormone molecule

Dopamine is a hormone and neurotransmitter that's present in all animals, including humans. This neurotransmitter in our brain is what is responsible for feelings of pleasure and reward. It is sometimes referred to as the "feel-good" chemical. When you do something that feels good, dopamine is released.

This can include activities such as eating, exercising, and having sex. It also plays a role in many different functions, including:

  • The feeling of pleasure and reward

  • The experience of pain

  • Appetite

  • Learning

  • Memory

  • Sleep

  • Motor function

As you can see dopamine plays are role in quite a lot of human functions, however, it is most involved in the production of happiness and positive emotions. This feels pleasurable and reinforces our behavior, making us want to do it again!

How Dopamine Affects Your Relationships

When talking about having healthy relationships and being in love most people think about the heart. It's often thought of as what is pushing you and your partner most together and being in love.

However, your love for each other is coming mostly from your brain. Your brain and nervous system control everything and can help you build a better relationship, which is great, but it also can cause not-so-great things... such as erectile dysfunction. With that being said, we're going to focus on the good today and how it can help you build a healthier relationship.

Have you ever heard anyone say that love is addictive or felt that yourself? Most likely you have. Love is a euphoric feeling that you can't seem to get enough of once you experience it. You've also probably heard people say "oh they're going through the honeymoon phase" when referring to new couples in love.

happy couple in a relationship

Well, that euphoric, addictive, and honeymoon phase is all caused by dopamine. What people are talking about and referring to is really the dopamine that our bodies are releasing. When it's released at high levels, it becomes like a drug and feels so good.

When you're in the presence of someone you have strong feelings for, you may notice your heart quicken, your breathing becomes shallow, or your face flush. These are all natural reactions provoked by increased dopamine levels.

However, over time, some individuals may realize that once the dopamine rush wears off, they are no longer as interested in their partner, or that they do not have an intense attachment. Others may become disinterested if they don't experience the same level of excitement that they used to, and so they break up with their partner prematurely because they believe it is a negative feeling.

Although the passionate feelings of a new relationship will eventually die down, they will be replaced by neurochemicals that help maintain attachments and create connections.

Maintaining a Healthy Relationship Over Time

As we said before, dopamine is what's responsible for those initial passionate feelings in a relationship. But after the honeymoon phase wears off, it's up to you and your partner to maintain a healthy relationship.

happy couple at the beach

Dopamine is still involved in maintaining a relationship over time, but it starts to play a different role. Once the intensity of the passionate feelings starts to die down, other neurochemicals like oxytocin and vasopressin take over. These neurochemicals help create attachments and foster a stronger connection between partners.

It's up to you and your partner to decide if it's worth building a lasting relationship together and view it more as a partnership. A partnership is a team effort that requires communication, support, and compromise from both partners.

It's important to remember that love isn't just a feeling, it's a choice. And it's up to you to make the choice to commit to your partner and work together to maintain a healthy relationship. Creating a lasting relationship with your partner is going to take commitment to one another and with a bit of effort from both sides, you can strengthen that bond over time.

Keeping the Flame Going & Improving Your Relationship

When it comes to improving your relationship, it's important to keep the flame going by continuing to do things that make you both happy. Dopamine is still involved in keeping the flame alive, but it's up to you and your partner to keep things interesting.

One way to keep the dopamine flowing is by doing things that are new and exciting together. It's important to continue showing your affection for one another. This can be anything from holding hands, cuddling, or simply telling each other "I love you."

Small gestures like these show your partner that you care. It's not just about small gestures of love though, there are a number of things that you can do to create lasting connections. Let's take a look at a couple of them.

1. Communicate Openly & Frequently With Your Partner

Dopamine is released when we feel heard and understood by our loved ones. When we bottle up our feelings or withhold communication, it can create stress and disconnection, the opposite of what we're aiming for.

If you're feeling disconnected from your partner, try communicating more openly about your needs and feelings. Just the act of talking things out can give your relationship a much-needed boost of dopamine.

This is especially true if you start fighting more often or if you're not having sex anymore. If you're experiencing issues in bed, it's time to start talking. No matter what may be causing the disinterest in bed, more often than not, having a conversation is going to clear things right up.

For example, if you're experiencing erectile dysfunction, speaking with your partner and explaining to them the situation can completely change the way both of you feel... in a good way. And it's not a one-time conversation either! Keep talking about it and you'll become more comfortable when an erection hiccup does happen. This way, you both will know what to do to get it back up in no time.

image showing the brain being controlled by the hormone dopamine

2. Make Time for Connection Every Day

It's easy to get caught up in the hustle and bustle of everyday life and let our relationships fall by the wayside. But if you want to keep those dopamine levels high, it's important to make time for connection on a daily basis, even if it's just 10 or 15 minutes.

Carve out some time each day to talk, cuddle, or simply be with your partner without distractions like phones or computers. Those small moments of connection will do wonders for your relationship (and your dopamine levels).

Also, when you make real-time for your partner, they are much more likely to want to have sex with you. If you want to improve your sex life, try making more time for your partner.

3. Keep Things Exciting With New Experiences

When we get comfortable in a relationship, it's easy to let the excitement fizzle out. But new experiences are one of the best ways to keep those dopamine levels high. So, take some time each week to try something new together, go on a hike, explore a new museum, or even just try a new recipe together.

This also applies to things inside of the bedroom. Doing the same position and routine in bed can become boring for people and this can cause you to not have sex as often or at all over time.

the fleshlight

Try something new, experiment with a new position, or get into some role-playing. Another great way to spice things up is masturbating with your partner. Trying using a new masturbating toy such as the Fleshlight.

If your relationship feels like it's been lacking in intimacy, masturbating together is a great way to spice things back up together. Seeing your partner and showing your partner how to please yourself is a great way to gain that intimacy back!

Just make sure to speak with your partner about these things beforehand and ensure you're both on the same page and want to try it.

Keeping things fresh will help you stay connected (and happy) in your relationship for years to come!

Build a Healthy Relationship with More Dopamine

Dopamine is an essential hormone for both our individual well-being and our relationships. When levels are high, we feel happy, motivated, and connected to our loved ones. But when they're low, we can feel stressed and disconnected.

To keep those dopamine levels high (and your relationship strong), communicate openly with your partner, make time for connection every day, and keep things exciting with new experiences!

Hopefully, this blog helped you guys out and explained how important dopamine and maintaining a healthy relationship is! If you guys have other topics you would like us to cover here at BDE Style, leave a comment down below or send us a message.

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