Science of Love
07 Monday Nov 2011
We call it love because it feels like it. It is the most euphoric of all human emotions and a nature’s beautiful way of keeping human species alive and reproducing. For centuries, love has been probed and celebrated by all races and sexes – mostly by artists, poets and singers. The three phases of love includes, lust, attraction and attachment. There are a lot of chemicals racing around your brain and body when you’re in love. Here are the following chemicals present and it shows how love works:
a.) Adrenaline - The initial stages of falling for someone activates your stress response. This has the charming effect that when you unexpectedly bump into your new love, you start to sweat, your heart races and your mouth goes dry.
b.) Dopamine – it’s commonly associated with the pleasure system of the brain, providing feelings of enjoyment and reinforcement to motivate us to do certain activities. It gives us the feeling of bliss. You have less need for sleep or food and a focused attention. It is a feel good chemical, same thing we get from reading a book or eating food, that is associated with pleasure and addiction. It affects brain processes that control emotional response and ability to express pleasure or pain.
c.) Phenylethylamine – It is the love molecule. It’s a natural amphetamine like the known drug and can cause the same stimulation effects. It contributes to that on-top-of-the-world feeling that attraction can bring, and gives you the energy to stay up day and night with a new love. You have a feeling of restlessness. Simple actions like the meeting of the eyes or touching of the hands leads to effect of exhilarating emotions and heavy breathing. Even chocolates have have very high level of this chemical that makes you happy.
d.) Serotonin – it controls impulses, unruly passions, obsessive behavior, aiding the sense of “being in control”. He or she keeps popping into your thoughts and preoccupies your mind.
e.) Norepinephrine – is another neurotransmitter which induces euphoria in your brain, exciting the body by giving it a booster dose of natural adrenaline. This causes the heart to beat faster, sweat the palms and blood pressure to rise. That’s why you can experience a pounding heart or sweaty palms when you see someone you’re attracted to.
f.) Oxytocin – is also released when two people have sex and it is also associated with child birth. It is the cuddling chemical. It can be released simply by a lover’s look, smell or even a fantasy.
g.) Vasopressin - an antidiuretic hormone, is another chemical that has been associated with the formation of long-term, monogamous relationships. Suppression of this chemical can cause males to abandon their love nest and seek new mates.
h.) Endorphins - the body’s natural painkillers, also play a key role in long-term relationships. They produce a general sense of well-being, including feeling soothed, peaceful and secure. They make a relationship steadier, intimate, dependable, warm and a great sharing experience. The longer they are married, the longer two people will stay together. It gives you the feeling of attachment and comfort plus it relieves pain and reduces stress. It is also these chemicals that trigger grief on a spouse’s death or long separation, those yearning for togetherness.
Psychologists have shown it takes between 90 seconds and 4 minutes to decide if you fancy someone. So, only when these chemicals combine together, we feel the real “chemistry” of love. You can blame these chemicals for falling in love or just simply enjoy the natural highs life gives us. But chemistry isn’t everything, even hard core scientists and love junkies agree to that. Culture, circumstances, personality and other variables play an important role too. It could be magic or science that makes you fall deeply and hopelessly for somebody. But whatever it is, it leaves our generation after generation under a spell, rather a chemical.