THE “CHEMISTRY” OF FALLING IN LOVE.
Still remember the first time you fall in love? Of course you do! Everybody does! The unexplainable feeling of nervousness when the person you fancy walk across the room. The sweating palms. The irregular sound of your heartbeat. The butterfly in your stomach. The mind that remembers only him and nothing else.
I still remember when one of my good friend, pretty Lisa, get into this madness of falling in love with the guy with bulky arms playing basketball in a court across our apartment. At first it was only “Wow, check out the body!” on one fine afternoon. Then, all of a sudden she knows how to play basketball. Next, she began to dress up and smiling more. The next thing I know, she is receiving unstamped letters on a weekly basis. Her performance in work dropped a bit the first 3 months but after that she flew high. Why are we experiencing all this when we fall in love?
Stages of Love
Helen Fisher of Rutgers University in New Jersey has proposed 3 stages of love – lust, attraction and attachment. Each stage are driven by different hormones and chemicals produced by the body.
Stage 1 : Lust
This is the first stage of love and is driven by the sex hormones testosterone and estrogen in both men and women. These hormones set you up to go out there looking for a potential lover.
Stage 2: Attraction
This is the truly “struck-by-cupid-arrow” phase where both men both become madly in love. When people fall in love they can think of nothing else. They might even lose their appetite and sleep less, preferring to spend hours at a time daydreaming about their new lover. 3 hormones are responsible for this.
· Dopamine – when released, the body will require less sleep, less food, increased energy, more focused and detail attention to the love ones. It has the same effect of the brain taking cocaine or nicotine.
· Norepinephrine / Adrenaline - The initial stages of falling for someone activates your stress response, increasing your blood levels of adrenalin. When you unexpectedly bump into your new love, you start to sweat, your heart races and your mouth goes dry.
· Serotonin - One of love's most important chemicals. The image of the love ones keeps appearing in your thoughts making the person temporarily insane.
Stage 3: Attachment
Attachment is the bond that bonds the couples together for them to have and raise children. Scientists think there might be two major hormones involved in this feeling of attachment; oxytocin and vasopressin.
Oxytocin (The cuddle hormone) - This is released by the hypothalamus gland during child birth and also helps the breast express milk. It helps cement the strong bond between mother and child. It is also released by both sexes during orgasm and it is thought that it promotes bonding when adults are intimate. The theory goes that the more sex a couple has, the deeper their bond becomes
§ Vasopressin - is another important hormone in the long-term commitment stage and is released after sex. Vasopressin (also called anti-diuretic hormone) works with your kidneys to control thirst. Studies shows that this hormone promotes devotion and protection towards the other partner
How to fall in love?
Understanding the chemical reactions while falling in love and how it happen means that falling in love can be created any time and any where scientifically. York psychologist, Professor Arthur Arun, has been studying why people fall in love and came out with a very simple technique to get the chemistry going. 3 easy steps to follow :
§ Find a complete stranger.
§ Reveal to each other intimate details about your lives for half an hour.
§ Then, stare deeply into each other’s eyes without talking for 4 minutes
He asked his subjects to carry out the above 3 steps and found that many of his couples felt deeply attracted after the 34 minute experiment. Two of his subjects later got married. Cautious! Only try this if you are SINGLE and AVAILABLE!!
Some people find their true love the first time they fall in love and live happily ever after. Some people, on the other hand, have a less favourable experience. No matter how good or bad it turned out to be, the experience will always have a special place in your heart. Want to know what happened to my friend pretty Lisa, with the basketball guy? Well, they dated for a year, getting to know each other. After a year the relationship became sour. Lisa learned that the only thing that she liked about him was his body, and they seemed unable to move beyond that. That’s what happens when you let the “chemistry” of love takes over your mind!