Though scientists have not developed any magic love potions that make someone fall and stay in love with you, but there is a lot of chemistry involved in feeling attachment. And if you have ever wondered exactly what chemicals are involved in feeling love, then you are in much luck as this article introduces you to them.
The Chemicals of Love
First, there’s attraction. Nonverbal communication plays a big part in initial attraction and some of this communication may involve pheromones, a form of chemical communication. But the big guns in the love chemical department are:
Phenylethylamine or PEA – This naturally occurs in the brain and also in some foods, such as chocolate. It is a stimulant which causes the release of norepinephrine and dopamine. This chemical is found when you are falling in love. It’s responsible for the head-over-heels, elated part of love.
Norepinephrine – When PEA causes this chemical to be released, you feel the effects in the form of sweaty palms and a pounding heart.
Dopamine – Dopamine is a neurochemical that appears to be associated with mate selection. What dopamine does is it give you laser-focus attention, the craving, the euphoria, the energy and the motivation, in this case the motivation to win life’s greatest prize.
Each time you hear someone smitten by love say “I will not rest until I have her” and “Nothing in this world, but death can separate I and Laolu”, just know it’s the dopamine talking!
Oxytocin – Dopamine triggers the release of oxytocin, which is sometimes called the ‘cuddle hormone’. In both genders, oxytocin is released during touching. In women, oxytocin is released during labour and breast feeding.
Testosterone – Though you might think of testosterone as a male hormone, both men and women produce it, though smaller quantities in women. It is the chemical responsible for raw lust.
Endorphins – Your brain acquires a tolerance to the love stimulants and starts to release endorphins. The honeymoon is over, chemically, around 18 months to 4 years into a relationship. However, this isn’t all bad. Endorphins are associated with feelings of attachment and comfort.
Endorphins are like opiates – heroin, codeine, meth, cocaine etc. They calm anxiety, relieve pain and reduce stress.