Sex+Love

The Science of Romance: Why We Love

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What’s going on in your brain when you fall in love? Those butterflies and fireworks you feel when falling love are actually just brain chemicals flooding your system.

Researchers claim that the early stages of love are like being on cocaine:

Helen Fisher, a leading expert on the biology of love and attraction, divides it into 3 stages:

Stage 1: Lust

In this stage there is a spike in testosterone and estrogen, responsible for sex drive in both men and women. These hormones as Helen Fisher says “get you out looking for anything”.

Stage 2: Attraction

This is the love-struck phase. People in that phase can think of nothing else. It can go as far as losing appetite and needing less sleep. Instead they will spend hours at a time daydreaming about their new lover, as reported by BBC.

Hormones Dopamine, Adrenalin & Seratonin & take your brain temporarily hostage.

Now it’s time for Attachment and trust. Here you and your partner get to know each other really well. The hormone Oxytocin, the cuddle hormone, takes over.

Stage 3: Attachment

People couldn’t possibly stay in the attraction stage forever, otherwise they’d never get any work done.

Attachment is a longer lasting commitment and is the bond that keeps couples together when they go on to have children.

“Our behavior in later stages tends to be governed more by the laws of normal reality.” (source)

Here some more explanation from “Talk Nerdy To Me”:

Does the heart fall in love, or the brain?

It’s a tricky question.

“I would say the brain, but the heart is also related because the complex concept of love is formed by both bottom-up and top-down processes from the brain to the heart and vice versa.” -Stephanie Ortigue, Syracuse University professor (source)

Is trying to put love into science terms too technical and takes away the romantic? Or does it make it more beautiful because love is hard-wired into our brain?

Let us know what you think!

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