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This article is written by a student writer from the Her Campus at Ashoka chapter.


I noticed him from across the room, and I couldn’t stop myself from blushing. His laugh was infectious, and I found myself wanting to know more about him. My brain was releasing adrenaline, giving me that ‘butterflies in my stomach’ feeling. 

Does he like me? He was smiling at me but was that a polite out-of-necessity smile? Or was it something more? My cortisol levels were through the rough. Such uncertainty definitely does not bode well for my already sky high stress levels. 


It all started with her smile. I was sitting in the college cafeteria, minding my own business, when I saw her walk in. Her smile lit up the room, and I couldn’t take my eyes off her. I didn’t know this then but when we see someone we are attracted to, our brain releases dopamine, a chemical that makes us feel happy and excited. This rush of dopamine is what made me feel so drawn to her.

As we started talking, I couldn’t help but notice how beautiful her eyes were. It turns out that our pupils dilate when we are attracted to someone. It was an involuntary response that I had no control over. When I looked into her eyes, my pupils were dilating, and I didn’t even realize it. How could they not? I’d never seen someone as beautiful as her.


My heart rate would quicken whenever he was near, and my palms would grow clammy with anticipation. I was having trouble sleeping, my mind racing with thoughts of him. 

The more time I spent with him, the more I started loving myself. Maybe it was all the compliments he showered me with, maybe it was the surge of dopamine and norepinephrine that made me feel good, but I felt beautiful. I was seeing myself through his eyes. 

Then I noticed – my cortisol levels weren’t sky high anymore my body relaxed. I was getting used to his presence, to his care. Was I in….. Love?


As I spent more and more time with her, I began to notice some changes. I felt more energized and excited. I couldn’t think of anything or anyone other than her. Feelings of pleasure, excitement, and a strong infatuation was coursing through my veins. Dopamine, norepinephrine, and serotonin, were flooding my his brain and creating these feelings.

Her voice – it brought me peace. Was it really possible to feel this way? I felt so strongly about her, I had never felt such emotions before. Could it be…. Love?


I felt a knot in my stomach as I told him. I was so vulnerable at the time, so nervous. I’d never said this to anyone before. But I said it to him. 

I love you. 


The second I heard those words come out of her mouth, my world changed. She loves me? Me? 

The amygdala (a part of the brain) processes our emotions and forms memories that are associated with our partner, both positive and negative. I was replaying the many memories I had already made with her in the short time I had known her. Our first date. Her hatred for olives. Staying up all night, laughing at the silliest of jokes. My aversion to her taste in music. I knew what I had to say to her. 

I love you too. 


Ever heard oxytocin? It’s very aptly called the ‘love hormone’. It was this hormone that made me feel calm and secure in the relationship. I trusted him. Our emotional connection strengthened. I was telling him things I never thought I’d tell anyone, trusting him with information that I thought would never speak of to anyone. He wasn’t just anyone though, was he? I know I already said this but I feel like I need to say it again – I love him.


As our relationship progressed, we began engaging at a deeper level and understanding one another on a different level. The prefrontal cortex became more active. This is because we were engaging in more complex cognitive processes related to love and attachment. As we became more emotionally attached to each other, I became more attuned to her emotions and needs, which requires us to engage in perspective-taking and empathy. This process is thought to be mediated by the prefrontal cortex, which helps us to understand our partner’s perspective and respond appropriately to their emotional cues. 

I felt comfortable. I felt like I was home. I know I already said this but I feel like I need to say it again – I love her. 

Rhea Wali

Ashoka '26

A dreamer by design, Rhea is a sophomore at Ashoka University, studying biology, and also writes for the Ashoka chapter of Her Campus. She is an avid reader, science enthusiast and a trained Kathak dancer. She enjoys writing poetry, spending time with friends and family, and tries to do her bit to bridge the gap between Einstein and Shakespeare!