To investigate the durability of true love, American researchers scanned the brains of 17 men and women, who said they were still devoted to their spouses after an average of 21 years of marriage, as they looked at a photo of their partners. The scans were remarkably similar to those of people who had fallen in love within the past 12 months. In particular, a region at the heart of the brain called the ventral tegmental area lit up in both. It produces the feel-good chemical dopamine…However, the two sets of scans were not absolutely identical.

Those newly in love also showed activity in a part of the brain associated with obsession and anxiety, whereas the long-termers were using parts linked to calmness and the suppression of pain.
How long-term love lights up a life just like a new romance | Mail Online (via robot-heart)