- The love shared by two people is a wonderful thing and it can often prompt individuals to act differently than normal.
- Usually, acting silly because you’re in love is harmless but, sometimes it can be destructive.
- We spoke to a licensed psychotherapist for her insights into why love makes you silly, possible red flags, and ways to control your love-induced silly behaviour.
Love is a wonderful thing. And, while love comes in many forms – the love of friends, family members, or humanity as a whole – the love that most people think of when they hear the word is the passionate, romantic kind, between two partners.
If you’ve ever been in a relationship, you know that when love hits your system it can cause you to act differently and, in many cases, downright silly. For some, it’s a mild form of silliness, like skipping around, giggling, and acting giddy. For others, that silliness can manifest as a lack of common sense or judgment that leads one to act foolishly.
So why does this happen? We consulted Dr. Marni Feuerman, a licensed psychotherapist and author of the new book “Ghosted and Breadcrumbed: Stop Falling for Unavailable Men and Get Smart about Healthy Relationships,” for some answers on why exactly love makes you act like a silly goose.
Your body experiences physical changes when you fall in love
When people fall in love, they experience a surge of hormones and neurotransmitters that make them feel good, Dr. Feuerman told INSIDER.
“Such chemistry overrides our logical, rational thought,” she says, which can lead you to doing things you might not otherwise.
These changes have a similar effect on our brains as drugs do
If you feel high around your crush, there’s a physical reason for that, she said. “Science tells us that the chemical and hormonal changes are coded in our brains similar to addiction.”
That leads you to wanting more and more of that person – sometimes to an extreme extent.
Being in love dampens our cognitive functioning
Have you ever been so in love with someone that you can’t get them off your mind? You’re not alone. “The feeling of being in love takes up a lot of mental space and even dampens our cognitive functioning – at least temporarily,” she said.
“This certainly isn’t good for our insight or judgment.”
Sometimes, we mix up love and lust
While you might think you’ve fallen in love with your new partner, sometimes you might actually be feeling physical lust or infatuation. “The early stages of meeting someone whom we are attracted to and with which we have intense chemistry can trick us into thinking we are in love this early on,” she said.
According to Harvard University, lust releases the hormones estrogen and testosterone, attraction releases dopamine, serotonin, and norepinephrine, and attachment releases oxytocin and vasopressin.
Though different, all three experiences can feel similar.
People who are younger, naive, and less experienced are more likely to act silly when in love
First time in a relationship? You’re more likely to act out of sorts because of your love connection. The same goes for young and naive people, Dr. Feuerman said. “It is more likely to happen to those who are younger, less experienced with love and/or has a tendency to be naive in general.” But she adds: “I think the silliness can happen to anyone at any time.”
Silly behaviour is more likely to happen at the beginning of the relationship
Acting silly is more likely at the start of a relationship when things are fresh because this is when we get the biggest chemical surge, she said. The more serious stuff comes next.
“For a relationship to survive, it has to get past this phase into a more stable and consistent phase,” she said. “For this next phase to be successful, though, you should feel safe and secure within the relationship. You often do not feel this way in the beginning.”
It’s also more likely in romantic relationships than platonic relationships
Goofing off and having fun with your besties is definitely silly behaviour, but it’s not quite the same as the way you act when in love.
“People can still be silly in a platonic relationship but often not to the same degree as a romantic relationship,” Dr. Feuerman said. “The neurochemistry isn’t involved to interfere in a platonic relationship the way it does in a romantic relationship.”
So, when you’re around someone you’re not in love – or lust – with, you tend to act more rational and grounded, she said.
While some love-induced silliness is harmless, it can sometimes be destructive
Over the years, Dr. Feuerman has seen examples of people tolerating awful behaviour from their partners in the name of love, she said.
“For example, finding obvious signs of cheating but believing the ridiculous story or excuse that is spun [by the cheater]. I have also seen people get taken for a lot of money.”
Certain red flags may indicate that your silly behaviour is getting out of hand
Most of the time, being madly in love isn’t a bad thing. But there are some exceptions.
“The only reason to be concerned is if the behaviours are damaging or you are being manipulated,” she said. “It is also concerning if you take the serious step of engagement or marriage without being grounded about the relationship.”
But you can guard against the effects of love-induced silliness to a certain extent
There are some ways to protect yourself from the effects of silliness in love. One strategy is to keep your good friends and family close and listen to their feedback about your behaviour and relationship, Dr. Feuerman said.
“If they think you are being silly or stupid with a love interest, take a step back to thoughtfully reflect on what they are saying instead of jumping to defend. These people are not under love’s spell the way you are.”
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