- Details the three stages of love: lust, attraction and attachment
- Dopamine is a key component and is the first chemical released
- Insomnia, depressed appetite and anxiety are all signs of attraction
Increased heart rate, sweaty palms and loss of appetite are all symptoms of the love bug.
Love isn’t just random, there are chemicals, neurons and hormones that work together in order for us to fall head-over-heels for someone.
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‘However, once we scratch beneath the surface there appears to be a scientific explanation behind why we feel the pull of desire, love and infatuation.
THE THREE STAGES OF LOVE
Lust: Works when oestrogen and testosterone levels increase in both the male and female.
These hormones motivate us to find a mate and are responsible for our sex drives.
Attraction: This stage is driven mostly by dopamine and norepinephrine, coupled with a decrease in serotonin levels.
This trio of chemicals increases alertness and arousal in the body when someone is attracted to another.
Attachment: Long term attachment involves the hormones oxytocin and vasopressin.
Concentrations of these in the body are increased after men and women orgasm.
‘Combinations of hormones and molecules in the body can act to guide us through the three stages of love – lust, attraction and attachment.
‘Each stage offers its own cocktail of chemicals that can control our feelings and be the driving force behind some of the most important decisions we make in life – there is indeed a lot more going on than we realize.’
Every love story in history started with the chemical dopamine, which is produced in the brain and adrenal glands.
This chemical enhances hormone levels, affects numerous organs, sweat glands and senses, and is basically the fuel that gets your motors revving, according to Psychology Today.
If you find yourself sweating more during the early stages of a relationship, dopamine is to blame.
Your mood and emotions are also affected, which explains why you’re overly excited or happier than usual.
After your body is pumped full of this potent chemical, you will then enter into the lust stage, which is driven by the sex hormones testosterone and oestrogen.
These hormones are what pushes you to find a mate and are responsible for navigating your sex drive, as they are the main hormones responsible for your sex drive.
Once you’ve started lusting after someone, you will find yourself infatuated or attracted to someone.
This part of the journey is fueled by dopamine and norepinephrine, combined with a decrease in serotonin levels.
This cocktail increases alertness and arousal when two people find each other attractive, which induces a feel-good reward pathway associated with a person and increased the desire to be around them, according to the infographic.
If you’re second guessing your attraction for someone, just look for the signs.
MyBreast explained there are physiological signs of attraction: dilated pupils, increased heart rate, sweating and increased breathing.
‘The severity of the side effects are driven by the chemicals behind attraction,’ said MyBreast.
‘It is possible that a greater attraction towards someone would result in a greater release of these chemicals and thus increase the severity of the side effects, however, it would be hard to measure.’
When you’re infatuated with someone your focus is heightened due to neurotransmitters norepinephrine and phenylethylamine (PEA).
Noreinephrine makes you feel super alert and allows you to remember the smallest of details, like the dress she was wearing or what kind of coffee he was drinking when you first saw them.
With such alertness, don’t be surprised if you spend your nights tossing and turning, as you will probably have a lot of unused energy.
PEA is what gives you the giggles and causes you to lose your appetite.
But if the relationship fails the levels of this chemical will dissipate, which is why you can become depressed and eat your sorrows away.
‘The interesting thing about the human body is that no matter how much you know about the molecules and science behind emotions, it does nothing to diminish the power of them,’ said MyBreast.
‘It is fascinating knowing the causes of our most intimate emotions and the possible psychological factors that may have influenced our decisions in choosing partners without our conscious awareness, however, this does nothing to change the innate potency of the emotion.’
Now that you’re attracted to that special someone, you will shortly become attached to them.
Long term attachment between two people involves a different set of hormones – oxytocin and vasopressin.
Oxytocin has been called the love hormone or cuddle chemical, so you can imagine what high levels of this does to your body, according to MyBreast
The levels of both hormones are increased in men and women following an orgasm, which can explained why some people become attached after having sex.
‘In a study back , ‘The Effects of Oxytocin and Vasopressin on Partner Preferences in Male and Female Prairie Voles’, it was found that treating monogamous prairie voles with oxytocin or vasopressin antagonists resulted in a reduction in partner preference,’ said MyBreast.
‘This suggests that oxytocin and vasopressin are an important factor in monogamy.’
But just because there’s science pushing you together for what seems like a long term romance, doesn’t mean it is written in the stars.
‘Due to the complexity of relationships it is hard to say why a relationship can fade,’ said MyBreast.
‘As there are several stages, lust, attraction and attachment it is possible that, despite attraction a relationship fails to form an attachment.’
‘The arousal associated with attraction is not a long term effect and thus can fade.’
‘However, with long term attachment it is difficult to say why this could decrease.’
Originally posted 2016-02-14 08:03:50.