When it comes to love, well, it’s not so straightforward as some would like it to be.
There is actually a science when it comes to love and it’s actually called the Science of Love. This is what generally explains it:
- There are three phases to falling in love and different hormones are involved at each stage.
- Events occurring in the brain when we are in love have similarities with mental illness.
- When we are attracted to somebody, it could be because subconsciously we like their genes.
- The smell could be as important as looks when it comes to the fanciability factor. We like the look and smell of people who are most like our parents.
- Science can help determine whether a relationship will last.
As mentioned above, there are three stages of falling in love. They are:
Stage 1: Lust
Everyone has experienced this at some point in their lives. Lust is driven by sex hormones called testosterone and estrogen. Mind you, testosterone is not confined only to men, as what a lot of you are likely to believe. It plays a major role in the sex drive of women.
Stage 2: Attraction
This is what is known as the ‘love-struck phase’. When people fall in love a lot of them can think of nothing else. It can almost be all-consuming if one isn’t careful. They might even lose their appetite and need less sleep, preferring to spend hours at a time daydreaming about their new love in their lives.
In the attraction stage, a group of neuro-transmitters called ‘monoamines’ play an important role:
- Dopamine – Also similarly activated by the use of cocaine and nicotine.
- Norepinephrine – Otherwise known as adrenalin, which is known for getting us sweating and gets the heart racing.
- Serotonin – One of love’s most important chemicals and one that may actually send us temporarily insane.
Stage 3: Attachment
Now, without attachment, it ain’t going to stick! This is what takes over after the attraction stage if a relationship is going to go the distance. There is no such thing as people staying in the attraction stage forever. Everyone eventually moves on to the next stage.
Attachment is a longer-lasting commitment and is the bond that keeps couples together, especially if they are going to commit to each other long term and when they decide that they want to start a family. There are two hormones released by the nervous system, which are thought to play a role in social attachments:
- Oxytocin – This is released by the hypothalamus gland during childbirth and also helps the breast express milk. It helps cement the strong bond between mother and child. It is a hormone that is 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 – Another one of the important chemicals in any long-term commitment stage of a relationship. It is an important controller of the kidney and works in tandem with the rest of the hormones in your body.
All in all, this is what keeps the love going. It is actually not the determining factor on whether your relationship is going to last but with this, it may help you understand your actions a little better. Whatever it is, don’t let your emotions get the better of you.
Take time to think things through, especially when it comes to matters of the heart. Science of love or not, your heart is yours and it’s always best to keep close tabs on it. Good mental and emotional health equals a happier you.