Love in your 20s and 30s

From changes brought about by circumstances, new roles and responsibilities, to those caused by chemical and hormonal alterations in our brains, love is a complex phenomenon. All our motions are regulated by many different neuro chemicals and hormones. Love has elements of care, compassion and lust, and our experience of it is also governed by factors like genes, the environment, temperament, individual personality profiles and life experiences. There are also different kinds of love. It’s not a homogeneous emotion. We spoke to experts to decode how love affects us in our 20s and 30s…

THE TURBULENT 20s

WHAT YOU ARE FEELING

Many of us will recall our 20s as a time when love was impulsive, intense, all consuming and often irrational ­ a time when passion overrode practicality.The early to mid-20s are when the brain is flushed with stress, growth and sex hormones, which lead us to experience love and attraction more acutely.

From the heady 20s to the more stable 30s, the way we react in love as we age has a lot to do with the cocktail of neuro chemicals that make us fall in love

WHAT YOU WANT

“People in their 20s tend to place more emphasis on physical attributes and sexual attraction than someone in their 30s,“ says Dr Sharma. “For a person in her 20s, the things that would matter the most are love, communication, trust, attraction and compatibility, in that order.“

THE SCIENCE OF IT

According to science, our brains are not fully developed or matured till we reach our mid-20s, which affects our abilities to make rational decisions. According to the Harvard Mental Health Letter, J u l y 2 0 0 5 , “Human brain circuitry is not mature until the early 20s.Among the last connections to be fully established are the links between the prefrontal cortex-the seat of judgment and problem solving ­ and the emotional centres.These links are critical for emotional learning and high-level self regulation“. This means less control on our impulses, as our minds school us into thinking we can take risks.love in 20s

THE STABLE 30s

WHAT YOU ARE FEELING

By the time we reach our 30s, our brains have developed fully and we are almost set in our ways as far as our personalities are concerned. Therefore, quite naturally, the way we love in our 30s tends to differ significantly from how we were in our 20s.

WHAT YOU WANT

In our 30s, life experiences shape how we experience love almost as much as the love chemicals do. “At this stage, what will matter to you is honesty, communication, companionship, respect and a positive attitude. Both cognitive and emotional maturity levels differ drastically as we move from our 20s to 30s. The superficial fades away as you realise what’s really important in love and life.

THE SCIENCE OF IT

The difference is not so much in how we fall in love but how we react when we do. Even in your 30s, you will still first get attracted to a guy’s physical attributes and it will still be a cocktail of nora drenaline, dopamine, serotonin and oxytocin that will make you desire him. However, since you are now no longer ruled by your raging hormones and neurochemicals, or ham pered by a still-devel oping brain, logic and rational reasoning will stop you from rushing headlong into a relationship.