When we get sentimental and start giving things a thought we often end up asking ourselves questions about life and love. What is life? And what is love? Life is what we make it whereas love is an emotion that helps us make life easier. That’s too philosophical but not wrong because life and love both have a lot of definitions as there are a lot of other dimensions to both life and love.
Love is not just an emotion there is a lot of chemical reactions going inside our body to power that feeling of love. Yes, you read that right. Love is a combination of chemical reactions that trigger the feeling of happiness and likeness for someone. So, it’s not cupid’s arrow that hits us when we fall in love, here’s how you actually fall in love.
The Initial Phase
So, the first feeling of happiness that you feel by seeing someone or just thinking about them is the work of primarily three chemicals in the brain including noradrenaline, dopamine, and phenylethylamine. Noradrenaline is responsible for boosting adrenaline production, leading to sweaty palms and a racing heart. Dopamine is the feel-good hormone and it triggers your happy emotions. Whereas phenylethylamine gives you butterflies in the stomach when you are near your crush.
The Different Stages Of Love
Love is studied to be in different stages the first stage is said to be lust, the second stage attraction, and the third phase is the attachment phase. Let us understand more about these stages of love.
The sexual attraction that we feel about somebody is lust. It is the first and foremost stage of love and our limbic system performing its best here. The feeling of lust is fueled by testosterone hormone in males and estrogen hormones in females. Norepinephrine a chemical that is responsible for escalating joy and reducing appetite is also associated with the first stage of love.
Attraction is the second stage of love and is responsible for setting in a series of hormonal responses in a person’s body. Attraction is also considered to have a similar effect as that of alcohol. In this stage dopamine makes you feel good, adrenaline gives you the fast heart rate/ fight or flight and norepinephrine makes the feeling of falling for someone more like an addictive rush. Our brain’s reward system also kicks in at this point in time. It begins a feedback loop and is mostly associated with the second stage of love.
The last stage of love is attachment hormones like dopamine and norepinephrine are replaced by oxytocin. Oxytocin is also known as the cuddle hormone. This hormone comes into the picture when you start to become close with the other person and your bond starts to get stronger.
Oxytocin is also the hormone that is released after an orgasm, and after childbirth between a mother and child. Vasopressin is another hormone that is related to the third stage of love it is present in the kidney to control thirst. It plays an essential role in sex and is also important for a long-lasting relationship.
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