Romeo And Juliet Effect: Does It Really Exist?

Many couples live under the effect of Romeo and Juliet. But what exactly is it and how can we recognize it?
Romeo and Juliet effect: does it really exist?

Romeo and Juliet is a play by the well-known playwright Shakespeare about a couple in love struggling to be together. Despite their best efforts, they end up committing suicide. This urge to stay together despite everything and even choose death rather than stay apart is present in many couples. This phenomenon is called the “Romeo and Juliet Effect”.

The effort, the difficulties and the struggle are ingredients that, instead of making the partners in a relationship decide to separate and live in peace, become firewood to feed the fire of passion.

There are those who need these ingredients to be interested in another person. If they are missing, he may believe he is no longer in love. While it may sound absurd, there is a valid explanation.

Dopamine present in the Romeo and Juliet effect

The relationship characterized by the Romeo and Juliet effect is actually governed by dopamine. As indicated in the article published in Revista Médica , this neurotransmitter is involved in the regulation of certain functions such as emotionality and affectivity.

When an adverse situation occurs, such as those experienced by Romeo and Juliet, dopamine increases.

When the family opposes the relationship, the two lovers must be together in secret or are forcibly separated. This creates a biochemical tension which, in a sense, is addictive.

These events increase dopamine production with a number of consequences that fuel passion:

  • Greater opposition to adversity: the problems that arise and that try to separate the couple only allow to bring out new strategies to deal with them.
  • Strong attachment: The attachment and exaggerated feeling of wanting to be together increases with each problem that arises and tries to separate the couple.

Disenchantment in the Romeo and Juliet effect

It is clear that in the case of Romeo and Juliet the epilogue is terrible. But we all have a doubt: what would have happened if their story had continued?

Likely, they would continue to struggle against their family’s constant attempts to separate them. However, if there had been no more, the most likely result would have been a sad disenchantment.

This happens to many couples who suffer from the Romeo and Juliet effect. When the problems no longer mark the relationship, two things can happen: they invent them, generating absurd arguments, or they leave because they begin to get bored.

Previously, the partner represented their own world and grabbed all the attention. As indicated in the article The Neurobiology of Love , when dopamine is no longer present the situation changes. There is an interest in situations that may represent new dopamine rushes.

Couple arguing.

Dopamine addiction

Many people are addicted to dopamine. They are unable to be in a relationship unless there are problems, difficulties and extreme situations that make them feel that rush and excitement that they feed on.

This is a big deal, because they tend to believe that love is just that: constant struggle and effort.

If you add to this that third parties try to separate them from their partner, so much the better. While this initially livens up the relationship, it can definitely end up wearing it down.

We have probably experienced the Romeo and Juliet effect ourselves or have seen it in other people. It is not healthy, however, to be in such a relationship.

What should push two people to be together is not the problems, but the peace of mind and well-being of a balanced life together. And you, have you had relationships in which you have suffered the Romeo and Juliet effect?

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