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Can a person have romantic love without having sex?

Can a person have romantic love without having sex?

The love relationship between a male and a female is something as old as man himself, and the interpretation of love began since man knew logical thinking, and the attempt to explain these feelings that drive both men and women to coexistence has been the focus of lengthy research in more than one branch of the humanities.  

And while romantic love is always associated - or in most cases - with the  sexual process  associated with reproduction in the first place; And sensual pleasure in the second place, many have wondered about the nature of love and its relationship to sex, and if it is possible for a person to have romantic love without  having sex ? Here's what science tells us from some experts and specialists.

The Beginning.. Brain Chemistry

Before asking the direct question, we can start with the basics about romantic love relationships and how they occur inside our brains - not our hearts - according to the interview published on  Vox  , Helen Fisher, a professor of biology, says about the effect that occurs in our brains that after conducting experiments on more than 100 pairs of newly in love; As a result of their brain scan, it was found that secretions of high levels of the hormone (dopamine) are known to be responsible for the feeling of joy and happiness, specifically in a part of the brain called the ventral tegmental area or the tectorial cavity, and then the hormone spreads to other parts of the brain to stimulate the body and urge it to mate.

When asked by Fisher whether this effect differs in our brains when practicing sexual activity, she said; Human sex drive is linked to the  testosterone system  , whether in men or women. As for the feeling of (love), it is mainly related to dopamine; And she believes that love is a basic motivator that has evolved in humans over thousands of years to focus on only one partner for mating; As for sex as an instinct, it pushes a person to search for the right partner among more than one partner.

Two different procedures that have a similar effect...more or less

According to  what was published by Psychology Today  on the results of more than 20 specialized scientific studies on the brain impact of love and sex; The areas of the brain that are active when people experience either love or experience sexual attraction are: the thalamus, the hippocampus and the anterior cingulate cortex. But the interesting thing is that the brain does not give the same response to both processes.

During the test of feelings of love, the inner part of the Insula region of the brain responded; Whereas during the feeling of sexual attraction  the posterior part of the insula responded, in other words, the feelings of love triggered greater and stronger activation of the tectorial cavity area. That is, despite the similarity (path) of the two processes in brain chemistry; However, the brain's response varies.

Asexuals.. Sexual orientation or sexual disorder?

You may have come across the term   Asexuality  or (asexuality) in your readings, and it means exactly what it is referred to; lack of sexual attraction to others; It is a trend that has emerged greatly during the last two decades after several voices were raised calling that the lack of a sense of sexual attraction towards others is a natural (sexual orientation), similar to  homosexual or heterosexual orientation, and that it is not a disorder or a mental illness. This is something that no strong academic research has shown to support. And if some scattered unique reviews, experiences, and research were published  ( suggesting )  that it may be a sexual orientation and not some kind of (choice) or (psychological disorders); Some asexuals reported that they sometimes feel a sexual (desire) that is not strong or changes in rhythm.

As the asexuals insist ; that they can fall in love naturally and even enjoy intimacy  , but not through sex; that the attachment of an asexual person to another is what can most make a romantic love affair work; And that love does not always mean sex. 

What does all this mean, can we love without sex?

away from asexual orientation; For the average person, living in a romantic relationship without sex is difficult. It may result in differences; Because people, in turn, differ and their desires differ; If it happens that the sexual drive of one of the two parties is greater than the other, then the problem of sexual misunderstanding occurs, and also if the  sexual desire decreases , which of course leads to a coldness  of the sexual relationship and a fading of feelings. Or badly accumulated libido.

Other than the lack of sexual understanding , the possibility of the two partners continuing to feel love for each other exists; In a study published in 2017 conducted on couples in their fifties and sixties, which included brain scans; It was found that the parts of the brain that are active during the feeling of love are still active more than 21 years after falling in love, and after sexual activity has greatly diminished.    

So to answer the basic question whether it is possible for a person to have a relationship of romantic love without having sex as a physical act to express this love; The answer is not in one word, affirmative or negative. It depends primarily on communication between the two partners  and knowing the compatibility of their desires. For example, if a normal person falls in love with an asexual partner; Here we can say that seeing the problems will not be difficult. 

And if one party in the relationship feels the lack of sexual desire, unlike the partner, then there is an inevitability problem. Whereas, an asexual couple may live a happy life completely without sex.

Feelings of love may continue to exist strongly even without any physical relations and many years after the start of the relationship. The important takeaway here is that the acts of romantic love and sex are closely related and intertwined. Separating them is not impossible.